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Booker and the Suns host Jokic, Denver to start Western Conference semis

The Denver Nuggets head to Phoenix Monday to begin an NBA Western Conference semifinal series with the Suns after the teams played three close contests during the regular season.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic and Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic sure off during the first half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, June 3, 2021, in Portland, Ore. After closing out Portland, Jokic and the Nuggets open their Western Conference semifinal series in Portland Monday. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

Denver Nuggets (47-25, third in the Western Conference during the regular season) vs. Phoenix Suns (51-21, second in the Western Conference during the regular season)

Phoenix; Monday, 10 p.m. EDT

FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Suns -4; over/under is 219.5

WESTERN CONFERENCE SECOND ROUND: Suns host first series matchup

BOTTOM LINE: The Phoenix Suns host the Denver Nuggets to start the Western Conference second round. Denver went 2-1 against Phoenix during the regular season. The Nuggets won the last regular season matchup 120-112 on Jan. 23. Nikola Jokic scored 29 points to lead Denver to the win and Jae Crowder recorded 21 points in defeat for Phoenix.

The Suns are 30-12 in Western Conference games. Phoenix averages 42.9 rebounds per game and is 24-7 when outrebounding opponents.

The Nuggets are 26-16 against Western Conference opponents. Denver is 26-13 when it has fewer turnovers than its opponents and averages 13.5 turnovers per game.

TOP PERFORMERS: Chris Paul is shooting 49.9% and averaging 16.4 points. Devin Booker is averaging 25.7 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 42.1% over the last 10 games for Phoenix.

Jokic leads the Nuggets averaging 26.4 points and grabbing 10.8 rebounds. Michael Porter Jr. is averaging 16.1 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 43.5% over the last 10 games for Denver.

DURING THE PLAYOFFS: Suns: Averaging 104 points, 41.8 rebounds, 24.3 assists, 7.2 steals and 5.0 blocks per game while shooting 45.8% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 97.5 points on 41.4% shooting.

Nuggets: Averaging 120.8 points, 44.3 rebounds, 26.0 assists, 6.2 steals and 4.5 blocks per game while shooting 47.2% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 119.5 points on 47.5% shooting.

INJURIES: Suns: Ty-Shon Alexander: day to day (non-covid illness), Abdel Nader: out (knee).

Nuggets: PJ Dozier: out (adductor), Jamal Murray: out for season (knee), Will Barton: out (hamstring).

The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar

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