When Chris Paul is right, the Phoenix Suns are right, and that has been the case in the first two games of their second-round matchup against the Denver Nuggets, including Wednesday night’s 123-98 victory over Denver at Phoenix Suns Arena.
In 30 minutes of action, Paul had 17 points, 15 assists, five rebounds, and maybe the best number of all, zero turnovers. The Suns had six players in double figures, led by Devin Booker’s 18 points and 10 rebounds and Deandre Ayton’s 15 points and 10 rebounds.
According to StatMuse, Paul is the first player with 15 points, 15 assists, and zero turnovers in a playoff game since he did it in 2008 and 2014.
Phoenix holds a 2-0 series lead as the scene shifts to Denver for Games 3 and 4, starting on Friday night.
Phoenix led by 10 at halftime and took complete control in the third quarter. The Suns went on a 13-4 run to start the quarter and led by as many as 22 points in the third. Phoenix pushed their lead to as much as 31 points in the fourth quarter.
According to Suns head coach Monty Williams, Paul, who had 21 points and 11 assists in Game 1 of this series, is the best game manager he’s been around.
“He manages games better than anybody I’ve ever been around,” Williams said. “It’s not something I take for granted; it’s not something our team takes for granted.”
Paul, who passed Jerry West to move into 14th on the playoffs All-Time Assist leaderboard, added: “Just reading the game, man. Just finding open guys, picking my spots. We’ve got an unbelievable team in the way that we’ve got shooters.”
The 36-year-old Paul is the perfect point guard. He does everything right on the floor and makes sure everybody is in the right spots. The key for Paul is health, which has derailed his championship hopes in the past with the Clippers and Rockets. Clearly, if he stays healthy, Phoenix has a chance to make it to the NBA Finals and possibly win a title.