Déjà vu from another Chris Paul takeover swamped Phoenix Suns Arena at this point, maybe as the crescendo to a 123-98 triumph over the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals on Wednesday.
All night, Paul surveyed, diagnosed, and attacked Denver’s weaknesses to finish with 17 points, 15 assists, and no turnovers as the trigger to the Suns burning the Nuggets for their most lopsided loss of the season; a defeat that coach Michael Malone labeled “embarrassing.”
“I saw one team that wanted to be here, and played with a purpose and urgency, and one team that did not want to be here, and played with no urgency,” Malone said. “That’s why we got our ass kicked.”
Let’s not forget or rub off Paul’s role in that, or Phoenix’s defense, which gave Denver fits.
“It was a team effort once again,” Paul said in his postgame interview on the court. “We knew how important this game was. We just wanted to maintain homecourt advantage and get the win.”