NBA Game Notes (May 5, 2023)
Here are the NBA game notes for games that were played on May 5, 2023.
Booker Torches Nuggets
Devin Booker matched his postseason career high with 47 points as the Phoenix Suns beat the Denver Nuggets 121-114 to cut the Nuggets’ series lead to 2-1 in their Western Conference Semifinals matchup. The teams will play Game 4 on Sunday in Phoenix.
Booker shot 20-25 from the field, including 5-8 from 3-point range. He’s just the second player in NBA history to score at least 45 points on 80% shooting from the field in a playoff game, joining Dirk Nowitzki (May 17, 2011).
Booker shot his only free throws of the game with 6.6 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, making both of them. Booker tied Allen Iverson (May 16, 2001) for the fewest free throws attempted in a 45-point playoff game in NBA history.
Booker also contributed nine assists, six rebounds, and three steals. It’s the second time he’s recorded at least 45 points, five rebounds, and five assists in a playoff game, both coming this postseason. The only other player in franchise history to record even one such game is Steve Nash (May 15, 2005).
Booker has made at least 10 field goals in each of his eight games in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. The last player to open a postseason with at least eight such games in a row was Shaquille O’Neal in 2003.
Booker has scored 295 total points this postseason. Only three players in NBA history have scored more points through their first eight games of a postseason (a total of four instances):
349 — Jerry West (1964-65)
325 — Michael Jordan (1989-90)
315 — Jordan (1987-88)
301 — Elgin Baylor (1960-61)
Teammate Kevin Durant scored 39 points although he had a subpar effort from the field, making just 12 of his 31 attempts (38.7%). Durant did hit 14 of his 16 free throws, adding nine rebounds, eight assists, and two blocks.
Durant did not record a turnover in 43 minutes played. Since the NBA began tracking individual turnovers in 1977-78, Durant is the only player to attempt at least 30 field goals and 15 free throws in a playoff game without committing a turnover.
Booker and Durant are just the second duo in franchise history to each score at least 35 points in the same playoff game, joining Nash and Shawn Marion (May 20, 2005). They are just the third duo in NBA history to each record at least 35 points, five rebounds, and five assists in the same playoff game, joining the Los Angeles Lakers’ Elgin Baylor and Jerry West and the Portland Trail Blazers’ Clyde Drexler and Terry Porter.
Nikola Jokic was splendid in defeat, producing 30 points, 17 rebounds, and 17 assists. He became the first player in NBA history to record at least 30 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists in a playoff game. Jokic now has nine career triple-doubles in the playoffs, tying Wilt Chamberlain for the most such games in NBA history by a center.
Jokic has recorded at least 20 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists in each of his last four games. The only player in NBA history with a longer such postseason streak is Tim Duncan with five in a row (May 19-27, 2003).
The Nuggets’ Jamal Murray scored a team-high 32 points but shot just 13-29 from the field (44.8%), making but one of his six 3-point attempts. Murray also tallied six rebounds and five assists.
Jokic and Murray are the only duo in franchise history to each record at least 30 points, five rebounds, and five assists in the same playoff game. They’ve now done so twice, the first occurrence coming on May 3, 2019.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Statitudes to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.