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The Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns battle at the top of the Western Conference, with both teams relatively secure in their post-season aspirations. The Denver Nuggets are first in the West with a 52-27 overall record with a mediocre 19-20 road record. The Phoenix Suns are 44-35 and fourth in the Western Conference with a 26-12 home record.
The Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns face off for the fourth and final time this regular season. The last time these two teams met, Denver lost to Phoenix 93-100 - the Nuggets lead the season series 2-1. Hosted at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, the Suns have a homecourt advantage.
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|Denver Nuggets||Head-to-Head||Phoenix Suns|
|Mike Malone||Head Coach||Monty Williams|
|52-27 (1st in West)||Standing||44-35 (4th in West)|
|116.9 (4th of 30)||Off Rtg||114.5 (15th of 30)|
|113.5 (15th of 30)||Def Rtg||112.2 (7th of 30)|
|98.7 (23rd of 30)||Pace||98.8 (21st of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|N. Jokic (24.9)||PPG||D. Booker (28.0)|
|N. Jokic (11.9)||RPG||D. Ayton (10.0)|
|N. Jokic (9.9)||APG||C. Paul (9.1)|
|K. Caldwell-Pope (1.5)||SPG||C. Paul (1.6)|
|A. Gordon (0.7)||BPG||B. Biyombo (1.4)|
|D. Jordan (.755)/N. Jokic (9.5)||FG%/FGM||K. Durant (.604)/D. Booker (10.1)|
|K. Caldwell-Pope (.416)/M. Porter Jr. (3.0)||3P%/3PM||K. Durant (.519)/K. Durant (2.3)|
|Colin Gillespie||Denver Nuggets||17 Feb 2023||Out (Leg)||Gillespie is yet to play this season. There is no timetable for his return.|
|Zeke Nnaji||Denver Nuggets||03 Apr 2023||Day to Day (Knee)||Nnaji was QUESTIONABLE for Denver's Tuesday (Apr 04) game.|
|Jamal Murray||Denver Nuggets||04 Apr 2023||Day to Day (Thumb)||Murray left Denver's Tuesday (Apr 04) game after suffering a thumb injury.|
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The Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns face off for what will be a huge matchup as the NBA season comes to a close. The Phoenix Suns have clinched a playoff berth and sit fourth in the Western Conference with a 44-35 overall record after winning six straight games. The Denver Nuggets remain at the top of the Western Conference, owning a 52-27 overall record after going 6-4 over their last ten matches.
The Denver Nuggets have worked their way to the top of the Western Conference off the back of their offensive efficiency, averaging 115.9 points per game (10th in the NBA) on 50.5% from the field (1st in the NBA) and 38.1% from three (4th in the NBA). Their defense needs work, as the Nuggets are coming off a loss to the Houston Rockets, where they allowed 124 points on 46.1% shooting from the field and 38.7% from three-point range.
The Phoenix Suns have clinched their playoff berth off the back of a defense that allows just 111.3 points per game (4th in the NBA) on 46.4% from the field (5th in the NBA) while forcing 14.5 turnovers per game (11th in the NBA). Phoenix's six-game win streak has seen them score 115.3 points on a plus-13.1-point win margin while limiting their opponents to just 41.9% from the field and 32.0% from three-point range.
We're taking the Phoenix Suns to cover the spread in this matchup. Phoenix is in fantastic two-way form and should build on their win over the Nuggets last week. With these teams so close to the playoffs, the Nuggets will likely avoid risking their injured players after clinching a spot at the top of the Western Conference.
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All eyes are on Kevin Durant as he works his way back into form for the Phoenix Suns before the playoffs. In his four games back since returning from injury, Durant has averaged 24.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.3 assists on 51.5% from the field and 50.0% from three-point range. He posted 30 points on the Suns' March 31 win over the Nuggets, so Durant projects to have another big game against the Western Conference-leading side.
Nikola Jokic looks to bounce back from a disappointing performance in his recent loss to the Houston Rockets. In just 24 minutes of play, Jokic posted 14 points, ten rebounds, four assists, and eight turnovers on 53.8% shooting from the field. He was a minus-21 on the night and will need to put in a better shift for his Nuggets' chances and his chances at winning his third-straight Most Valuable Player award.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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