NBA Game Notes (May 11, 2023)
Here are the NBA game notes for games that were played on May 11, 2023.
Nuggets Advance in Rout
The Denver Nuggets advanced to the Western Conference Finals with a 125-100 rout of the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of their semifinal series. The Nuggets await the winner of the other conference semifinal series between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers.
The Nuggets opened up a 30-point halftime lead, scoring 81 points. That’s the most points ever scored in the first half of an NBA playoff game by a road team:
81 — Denver Nuggets (May 11, 2023)
80 — Los Angles Lakers (Aug. 24, 2020*)
79 — Los Angeles Lakers (May 17, 1985)
77 — Milwaukee Bucks (March 30, 1970)
77 — Toronto Raptors (Aug. 23, 2020*)
* Game played in the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.
The Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic recorded game highs of 32 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists. He became the third player in NBA history to be the outright leader in all three categories in back-to-back playoff games (a total of four instances):
LeBron James (April 24 & 26, 2009)
Russell Westbrook (April 23 & 25, 2017)
James (May 25 & 27, 2018)
Nikola Jokic (May 9 & 11, 2023)
It’s the sixth time Jokic has been the outright leader in points, rebounds, and assists in a playoff game. The only player in NBA history with more such games is LeBron James (15).
Jokic shot 13-18 from the field (72.2%) and made all six of his free throws. Jokic is the third player in NBA postseason history to record back-to-back triple-doubles in which he shot at least 60% from the field (a total of four instances):
Wilt Chamberlain (March 22 & 24, 1967)
Chamberlain (April 11 & 14, 1967)
Magic Johnson (June 3 & 6, 1984)
Nikola Jokic (May 9 & 11, 2023)
For the series, Jokic averaged 34.5 PPG, 13.2 RPG, and 10.3 APG, shooting 59.4% from the field, 44.4% from 3-point range, and 85.4% from the free throw line. He’s just the third player in NBA history to average a 30-point triple-double in a playoff series, joining Russell Westbrook (2017 Western Conference First Round) and LeBron James (2017 NBA Finals).
Jokic has totals of 338 points, 141 rebounds, and 107 assists through 11 games in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. The only other player in NBA history to record at least 300 points, 100 rebounds, and 100 assists through his first 11 games of a postseason is Oscar Robertson in 1963.
Teammate Jamal Murray, who was listed as questionable before the game with an illness, scored 26 points. Murray shot 7-16 from the field — including 4-7 from 3-point range — and hit all eight of his free throws. Murray also recorded a game-high four steals.
Murray’s backcourt partner, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, matched his playoff career high with 21 points on 7-11 shooting from the floor. Caldwell-Pope scored all of his points in the first half, 17 of them in the opening period.
The Suns’ Cameron Payne scored a team-high 31 points in the loss, his first career 30-point game (regular season or postseason). Payne shot a blistering 12-16 from the field, including 7-9 from 3-point range.
Suns All-Star Devin Booker had his worst offensive game of the postseason, scoring just 12 points on 4-13 shooting from the field (30.8%). That broke a streak of 10 straight 25-point playoff games for Booker, the longest such streak in franchise history.
Fellow All-Star Kevin Durant scored 23 points, but was held to 8-19 shooting from the field (42.1%). Durant did not attempt a 3-pointer for the first time in his postseason career.
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