(Basketball news) The Phoenix roared back to level the series against the Denver Nuggets as they beat them 129-124 in game 4. For the Suns, Booker and Durant both scored 36 points as Booker also finished with a playoff career-high 12 assists while Shamet made four crucial 3-pointers in the final quarter to finish with 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point range.
For the Nuggets, Nikola Jokic scored a playoff-high 53 points on 20-of-30 shooting as Jamal Murray added 28 points and seven assists while Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. each scored 11 points. Chris Paul missed his second straight game while DeAndre Ayton’s slump in form continued as he managed only 8 points and had to sit out the 4th quarter in favor of Jock Landale. Both teams travel to Denver for Game 5 of this enthralling series.
“We were trying to make other guys beat us not named Booker, not named Durant,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone explained.
“Just making quick decisions, just trying to make the defence pay,” Booker said.
“I was making shots, attacking the paint,” Jokic said. “It was just one of those nights.”
“I’m just trying to win,” Booker said. “Throw that efficiency (expletive) out the window, I don’t care about that. Just keep going. Keep attacking, keep being aggressive. If it’s a product of getting open shots and knocking them down, that’s what I’m supposed to do.”
The Philadelphia 76ers also levelled the series against the Boston Celtics as they won 116-115 in overtime in game 4. For the 76ers, Harden hit a floater 16 seconds left in regulation time that tied the game and then went on to bury the game-winning 3-pointer with 18 seconds remaining in overtime as he finished with 42 points while Embiid, the NBA MVP had 34 points and 13 rebounds.
For the Celtics, Tatum struggled to score early but finished with 24 points, 18 rebounds, six assists, and four blocks as Brown scored 23 points and Smart had 21 points. This was a must-win game for the 76ers as Harden after two disappointing performances had to step up and he did in an emphatic fashion.
“I just want to win,” Harden said. “Today was do-or-die for us.”
“He’s strong, he’s bouncing back, he’s recovering very well,” Harden said. “I feel like it’s my job to give him that light, that smile that he deserves. Hopefully, today was one of those days where he can smile.”
“It’s a gamble at the wrong time and a big shot by James Harden,” he said. “That’s my fault. I take full accountability.”
“Jayson Tatum’s 3 was awful that (a push-off) wasn’t called,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. “You’ve got to call that play. I know it’s a big play and I’m a big fan of refs not deciding (the game) but it could have decided the game.”
“I guess I’ve got to demand the ball a little bit more,” Brown said. “I thought good things happened when I had it in my hands. I thought our offense was OK. We chipped away, we made big-time shots, we got great looks all game long. We just came up short in the end.”
“Tonight, playing a lot of minutes kind of got to me at the end,” Embiid said. “We made the plays when we needed to. PJ with the big and-1. Obviously, James shot. I thought we stuck with it. But that’s been us all season long. We stick together and fight through everything.”