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NBA playoff preview and tips: Phoenix Suns at Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets will look to build on their Western Conference semi-final lead in game two against Phoenix Suns.

Denver recorded a 125-107 win over the Phoenix Suns to take game one of the series. They're back on home court for game two and whilst it may be closer, Denver are expected to take game two.

Phoenix were overwhelmed in the second quarter of the game and never really recovered. They were unable to get back within single digits and the Nuggets put them to the sword in the fourth quarter.
Although the Suns shot a respectable 51.4% from the field, the Nuggets won the battle of the boards, picking up 11 more rebounds and limiting Phoenix's second-chance opportunities by only allowing them eight offensive boards.

Another key factor was how the Nuggets were able to force turnovers. Whilst the Suns didn't make many unforced errors, the Nuggets had active hands-on defence. They were able to come up with 14 steals compared to Phoenix's four.

Denver got solid production from all their key players. Jamal Murray (34P, 9A, 5R), Nikola Jokic (24P, 19R, 5A) and Aaron Gordon (23P, 6A) all came to play.
If we're looking at ways in which the Suns could make this series more competitive, then making their three-point shots would be one of them. They made seven of 23 attempts on Saturday. Higher output is also needed.
The focus will likely be on taking better care of the ball and limiting Denver's opportunity to steal, which should help close the gap a little more.
Even if they make strides in those two areas, Phoenix are still a weaker group than Denver. The lack of depth since the Durant trade is evident and it's going to come back to haunt them in this series. Phoenix may improve, but the -4.5 point spread doesn't reflect that Denver are just on a different level.

Standout Trends

Nuggets are 8-2ATS in their last 10 games against a team with a winning record.
Nuggets are 5-2ATS in their last seven games as a home favourite of 0.5-4.5 points.
Suns are 0-6ATS in their last 6 games as a road underdog.
Suns are 3-7ATS in their last 10 games on the road.

Suggested Bets

Denver Nuggets -4.5

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