What started as a season full of title dreams ended in an on-court nightmare for the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.
Phoenix was routed by Denver in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals, 125-100, ending the season in the second round for a second consecutive year and leaving the team’s Arizona sports betting backers again disappointed.
The 25-point loss was the team’s sixth-largest margin of defeat in the postseason and the third biggest in an elimination game, coming in behind Phoenix’s 1970 first-round loss to the L.A. Lakers (129-94) and last year’s Game 7 loss to Dallas (123-90).
Ahead of what’s sure to be an offseason full of questions and personnel changes in the Valley, BetArizona.com, your home for Arizona sports betting promo codes, stacked up how Thursday’s season-ending loss compared to others in the franchise’s 55-year history.
Largest Margins Of Defeat in Suns Playoff History
- 1996-97: 44 points (vs. Seattle in Western Conference First Round, Game 2)
- 1990-91: 39 points (vs. Utah in Western Conference First Round, Game 1)
- 1969-70: 35 points (vs. L.A. Lakers in Western Conference Western Division Semifinals, Game 5)
- 2021-22: 33 points (vs. Dallas in Western Conference Semifinals, Game 7)
- 1994-95: 33 points (vs. Houston in Western Conference Semifinals, Game 3)
- 2022-23: 25 points (vs. Denver in Western Conference Semifinals, Game 6)
Game 6 Loss Compares To Other Notorious Defeats
Thursday’s Game 6 loss at the hands of the Michael Malone-coached Nuggets stands out as the second straight one-sided shellacking for the Suns in a Western Conference Semifinals elimination game.
Like last year’s 33-point loss to Luka Doncic and the Mavericks, the Suns’ latest playoff flop started and ended in the game’s first half, which the visitors controlled on both occasions.
Last year, Dallas jumped out to a 57-27 lead at the break, thanks to a 35-point outing from Doncic and another 30 points from bench player Spencer Dinwiddie.
Last night, Denver followed a similar game plan, going for the jugular from the get-go by grabbing a 44-26 first quarter lead, en route to an 81-point opening half.
Like last year, the man culprit behind the Suns’ downfall was an Eastern European tour de force, with two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic hitting 13-of-18 shots to lead all Denver players in scoring, with 32 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
Both blowouts left Suns fans with a bad taste in their mouths and derailed a team once thought to be among the NBA title favorites on Arizona sportsbook apps.
The team’s latest playoff loss hit a new level, though, thanks to the poor play of superstar forward Kevin Durant.
Durant — who Phoenix traded for in February in large part to shore up the team’s offense — finished 8-of-19 from the field with nearly as many turnovers (four) as assists (five).