Nuggets vs. Suns Predictions: Game 5 for Western Conference Semifinals

Nuggets vs. Suns Predictions: Game 5 for Western Conference Semifinals

The home team has won every game in the Western Conference semifinal series between the Nuggets and Suns as it returns to Denver on Tuesday night for Game 5 with it tied 2-2. Still no Chris Paul for the Suns, who are underdogs on the NBA odds.


Suns vs. Nuggets, Game 5 | 2023 NBA Expert Analysis


How to Bet Phoenix at Denver NBA Odds & TV Info

When: Tuesday, 10 PM ET
Where: Ball Arena
Stream: TNT app
NBA Odds: Nuggets -5 (total 228)


Why Bet on Phoenix?

The Suns evened the series with a 129-124 home win in Game 4 on Sunday despite again playing without injured star Chris Paul. Devin Booker was great again with 36 points, 12 assists and six rebounds. Over four games against Denver, Booker has averaged 36.3 points, 6.8 assists and 5.3 rebounds.

He is now averaging 36.8 points per game and shooting 61.7% in nine playoff games, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1977 as the only players in NBA history to average 35+ points on 60%+ shooting through the first nine games of a playoff run. Booker is 34-for-43 in the two games Paul has missed. Booker has six 35-point games in the first two rounds of the playoffs. Since the postseason expanded to four rounds for all teams in 1983-84, only Michael Jordan (1989, 1990) and Bernard King (1984) have more 35-pt games in the first two rounds in a postseason.

Kevin Durant had 36 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Durant logged his highest scoring total of the playoffs in the Game 4 win and his third double-double of the postseason. The All-Star also nailed 12 of his 13 free throw attempts, following up his 14 points at the charity stripe in Game 3. With Durant currently averaging 30.0 points per game this postseason and Booker averaging 36.8, for the moment they join Jerry West and Elgin Baylor in 1962 as the only teammates to each average 30+ points in the same postseason.

Landry Shamet posted 19 points off the bench. He drilled four crucial three-pointers in the fourth quarter.

“Give credit to Landry Shamet,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “Knocks down five threes. We were trying to make other guys beat us not named Booker, not Durant. Both those guys got 36 and Shamet got 19 off the bench. He and (Terrence) Ross made seven threes, that was big.”

Entering Game 4, Shamet had scored only 14 points in the postseason, but this performance could up his usage, especially given Cameron Payne’s recent struggles starting for Paul – who will miss his third straight game with a groin injury. The team is hopeful for Game 6 back in Phoenix. Paul has averaged 12.4 points per game on 41.8% shooting and has added 7.4 assists per game in seven playoff games this season.

The Suns hold an all-time record of 21-20 in Game 5s of the NBA Playoffs, while sitting at 62-56 all-time in Western Conference Semifinals games.

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Why Bet on Denver?

The Nuggets lost Game 4 despite 53 points from Nikola Jokic, tied for the 2nd-most in a playoff game by a center in NBA history. Only Wilt Chamberlain had more with 56 points. Jokic scored or assisted on 78 points, the most in a playoff game by a center in NBA history.

In his past two games, Jokic is averaging 41.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 14.0 APG and 63% FG. He is the 1st player in NBA postseason history to average a 40-point triple-double and 60% shooting over a 2-game span. Jokic now has 478 combined points, rebounds and assists in the playoffs this season, the most by any player so far.

Jokic will not be suspended for Tuesday’s Game 5 following his altercation with Suns owner Mat Ishbia during Game 4. Jokic and Ishbia, who was seated courtside, were involved in a minor confrontation as the two-time MVP attempted to retrieve the basketball from the crowd following a Suns turnover. Ishbia appeared to be impeding Jokic from grabbing the ball, and in response, Jokic gave him a slight shove with his left arm, which caused Ishbia to fall back into his seat. He will be fined $25,000, for “making improper contact with a spectator.”

Jamal Murray had 28 points, seven assists and five rebounds in Game 4 in 42 minutes. Denver played with a slim eight-man rotation in the loss, which made it necessary for Murray to record his highest minute count of the playoffs. Murray has averaged 28.6 points during the playoffs, but he’s demonstrated some variance, with three scoring totals below 20 points. Murray is a 40% career playoff shooter from the 3. Against the Suns in this series, he’s hitting a meager 28.6% (2-of-18) since Game 1, when he torched them going 6-of-10 from deep.

Michael Porter Jr. had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Porter earned his third double-double of the playoffs in the loss. Based on Aaron Gordon’s recent numbers, there’s a noticeable correlation between the two, and Porter tends to succeed when his teammate falters.

In major stretches of Game 4, the Nuggets became too reliant on Jokic and Murray to create shots. Porter Jr., and Gordon were noticeably too absent from the offense when it mattered the most.

“We definitely have to make some adjustments,” Porter Jr. said. “It feels like they kind of figured out what we’ve been trying to do to them. We have to limit their easy points. They are scoring too easily in transition. We have to watch the film, and see what we can do differently.”

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MyBookie Betting Lines for the Game


Game Trends

  • Suns are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
  • Suns are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games.
  • Nuggets are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games.
  • Nuggets are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Suns are 2-5 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
  • Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.

Expert Prediction

Nuggets 108, Suns 103


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