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Phoenix Suns sweep Denver Nuggets, advance to Western Conference Finals

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, shown May 27, 2021, scored 34 points during the Suns' Game 4 win over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday. File Photo by Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, shown May 27, 2021, scored 34 points during the Suns' Game 4 win over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday. File Photo by Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE

June 13 (UPI) -- The Phoenix Suns swept their way into the Western Conference Finals for the first time in more than a decade with a 125-118 win over the Denver Nuggets in Game 4 of the semifinals Sunday night at Ball Arena in Colorado.

Chris Paul led the Suns with 37 points and Devin Booker scored 34 in a physical game that included the ejection of 2020-21 NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic.

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Jokic was tossed from the game with under four minutes remaining in the third quarter and the Nuggets trailing 83-76 after attempting to knock the ball away from guard Cameron Payne. His hard swipe sent the ball flying but also caught Payne directly on his nose.

Booker was upset about the hard foul and got in Jokic's face before players and coaches from both teams pulled them apart. Officials assessed a double technical on Jokic and Booker and ejected the MVP after upgrading the call to a Flagrant 2.

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Jokic finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes against the Suns.



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With their franchise-record seventh straight postseason victory, the Suns clinched a berth in the conference championship for the first time since 2010 -- the last year they reached the playoffs.

After eliminating LeBron James and the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in the first round, the Suns quickly knocked out the Nuggets and made Jokic the first MVP to get swept in a postseason series since Magic Johnson in 1989.

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Will Barton paced the Nuggets with 25 points on 9-of-21 shooting. Michael Porter Jr. had 20 points, while Monte Morris added 19 points and six assists.

Mikal Bridges recorded 14 points and six rebounds for the Suns, who trailed just once at 2-0 before Booker's 3-pointer put them ahead for good. Deandre Ayton chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds and Jae Crowder had nine points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.

The Suns now will rest until a winner emerges from the Los Angeles Clippers-Utah Jazz series. The Clippers trail the Jazz 2-1 in that series, with Game 4 set for Monday night.

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