Booker, Paul spoil Jokic’s MVP party, Suns take 3-0 lead
DENVER (AP) — Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns spoiled Nikola Jokic’s MVP celebration with a 116-102 victory over Denver on Friday night in Game 3 that put “The Joker” and the rest of the reeling Nuggets on the brink of a quick second-round exit.
Booker scored 28 points and teamed with Chris Paul to lead a steady offensive onslaught that countered Jokic’s triple-double of 32 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists.
With their sixth straight victory, the second-seeded Suns took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Sunday night at Ball Arena.
Paul had 27 points, eight assists and three steals for the Suns, who pulled away after halftime for the third straight time. All five Phoenix starters scored in double figures.
They are a one win away from their first trip to the Western Conference Finals since 2009-10 — which was the last time Phoenix made the playoffs.
Monte Morris scored 21 off the bench for Denver.
76ERS 127, HAWKS 111
ATLANTA (AP) — Joel Embiid scored 27 points and Philadelphia beat Atlanta Hawks to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Embiid, playing with a cartilage tear in his right knee, added nine rebounds, eight assists and three blocked shots. Tobias Harris had 22 points and Ben Simmons added 18 to help the 76ers end Atlanta’s streak of 13 home wins. The 76ers have taken the series lead with back-to-back wins.
Trae Young led Atlanta with 28 points.
Game 4 is Monday night in Atlanta.