NBA Playoffs: Suns melt Nuggets in Game 4 to tie semifinal series at 2-2

Kevin Durant and Devin Booker continued their magnificent shooting display in Game 4 of the Western Conference semis (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Phoenix Suns got the better of the Denver Nuggets in a high-octane Game 4 shootout, 129-124, to equalize their Western Conference NBA Playoff semifinal matchup at 2-2 last May 8, 2023.

After three tightly-contested quarters, Phoenix finally took control of the momentum in the final frame when they ballooned their lead to 10 points, 116-106, with 4:55 remaining in the game.

It was another showdown of the league’s biggest stars as Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Kevin Durant went toe-to-toe with Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.

From the get-go, the four superstars willed their team offensively and turned the game into a scoring showdown but it was the Suns’ power duo who got the last laugh after clinching the Game 4 win to get back into the series.

Booker and Durant scored efficiently, dropping 36 points each for the Suns built from a combined 25/37 shooting from the field.

Meanwhile, Jokic had another monster game for the Nuggets after a 53-point output alongside 11 assists and four rebounds while Murray contributed 28 points and seven assists.

The Nuggets went off to the races in the first quarter after immediately establishing a nine-point lead but a counter-attack from the Phoenix mob trimmed their deficit to just a deuce in the closing seconds of the first frame.

Both squads then executed their offensive schemes to perfection with Denver going to their unstoppable two-man game between Jokic and Murray while the Suns had a handful of help from the bench led by Landry Shamet.

The unsung hero of Game 4 was huge in the most crucial stretch for the Suns after draining four important three-pointers that helped Phoenix maintain the lead in the final nine minutes of the see-saw battle.

Denver got close to within three points after a Murray jumper, 123-100, against the defense of Shamet but Phoenix closed the game with a huge stop in the final 31 seconds.

TJ Warren and Durant then iced the game for the Suns after four-straight clutch free throws that officially ended Denver’s fightback.

The Nuggets will look to avoid three-straight losses and will return to Denver for home-court advantage on May 10, 2023, for Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinals.