NBA Playoffs: Nuggets rout Suns, 76ers take 3-2 lead over Celtics


With 36 points but just 11 of 27 from the field, Jayson Tatum led Boston. Jaylen Brown scored 24 points. After reconciling with Suns owner Mat Ishbia, Nikola Jokic recorded a triple-double, and Michael Porter Jr. connected on five 3-pointers to help the Denver Nuggets defeat Phoenix 118-102 on Tuesday night in Game 5 to retake the series lead.

Jokic broke a tie with Wilt Chamberlain for the most by a center in NBA history with his 10th career playoff triple-double of 29 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists. On Thursday night in Phoenix, Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinal will take place.

In the series, the home team has triumphed in every game. If that is the case once more, the decisive winner-take-all matchup will take place on Sunday in Denver, where the top-seeded Nuggets now own the NBA’s best home record with a record of 39-7, including 5-0 in the postseason.

Following Denver’s two consecutive losses in Phoenix, coach Michael Malone came up with a five-point strategy for the Nuggets to take back the series: improve their transition defense, slow down Devin Booker, utilize more of his bench, unleash MPJ, and make open three-pointers.

Porter recovered from a poor performance in Game 4 by scoring 19 points on 5-of-8 long-range shooting. Denver outscored Phoenix 31–23 in points scored on fast breaks; Booker scored 28 points but missed 11–of–his–nine attempts; Bruce Brown bolstered the Nuggets’ bench with 25 points; and the Nuggets made 13–of–their–27 long-range attempts. Phoenix’s Kevin Durant scored 26 points.

After their altercation over an errant ball in Game 4 of the series in Phoenix led in a technical foul and a $25,000 fine for the Nuggets big man, Jokic and Ishbia embraced before the game and shared the basketball.

On the other end, Philadelphia defeated Boston to grab a 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals thanks to 33 points from Joel Embiid.

While the Celtics were jeered by the home crowd, Philadelphia led by 21 points in the fourth quarter. When they host Game 6 on Thursday night, the 76ers can end the series.

Embiid scored 30 points for the third consecutive game in the series, adding seven rebounds, four blocks, and three 3-pointers to his total. Adding 30 points and six 3-pointers, Tyrese Maxey. In the end, James Harden had 17 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds.

With 36 points but just 11 of 27 from the field, Jayson Tatum led Boston. Jaylen Brown scored 24 points.

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