Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Chris Paul returns to game action vs. Nuggets, helps Suns clinch top overall seed in NBA playoffs


Thursday night was an eventful one for the Phoenix Suns. For starters, they got their superstar veteran point guard back, as Chris Paul returned to game action against the Denver Nuggets after missing the previous 15 games with a broken thumb. 

The Suns were able to maintain their spot at the top of the West without Paul — they went 11-4 in his absence — but they were still undoubtedly happy to have him back in the lineup. In 30 minutes, Paul tallied 17 points, 13 assists, four rebounds and a steal in Phoenix’s 140-130 victory. Overall, he didn’t show many signs of rust. 

As well as Paul played though, he was actually overshadowed in his return by his own teammate. On the five-year anniversary of his historic 70-point performance, Devin Booker erupted for a season-high 49 points and 10 assists against Denver. He scored his points in an extremely efficient manner as well, as he shot 16 for 25 from the floor. 

With their win, the Suns clinched the top overall seed in the postseason, meaning that they will have home-court advantage in every series through the NBA Finals. The win was the 60th of the season for the Suns, who can now utilize the remainder of the regular season to make sure that all of their key contributors are healthy for the playoffs. 

After making it all the way to the Finals last year, the Suns will be looking to do the same this season, and they certainly appear poised to do so. They have arguably the best backcourt in the league in Paul and Booker, and they are quite possibly the league’s deepest team, too. 

Throw in the good coaching of Monty Williams and reliable frontcourt play from the likes of DeAndre Ayton, Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder, and the Suns sure seem to have all the necessary ingredients to not only get back to the Finals, but also to potentially win the whole thing. 

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