Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
#15 Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets attempts a shot as #22 Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns looks to contest the shot. John Jablonka/Twitter


  • The Denver Nuggets enter Game 5 as -5.5 favorites over the Phoenix Suns
  • The Nuggets' dominance at home in the series cannot be understated
  • Devin Booker has powered the Suns to tie the series up at two apiece

Year in and year out, the Western Conference proves to be a bloodbath as the biggest stars come out to play at the most exciting time of the season, and the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns are no different.

With the series shifting back to Denver for Game 5, fans are dying to see whether Devin Booker's otherworldly offensive performance will carry the Suns to victory or if Nikola Jokic will get some much-needed help from his teammates and regain the lead.

Bet365, via, currently has the hometown Nuggets as -5.5 favorites entering the all-important Game 5, and there is reason for them to set such numbers as the Nuggets have been utterly dominant at home.

Game 1 saw the Nuggets come out in full force against a Suns team that was still finding their groove with Kevin Durant. Jokic took a backseat to the Jamal Murray show, with the "Blue Arrow" exploding for 34 points while shooting at 13-of-24 from the field.

Jokic had a subpar shooting night for his standards after only going 9-of-21, but he did have 19 rebounds to his name, which was exactly what they needed to prevent the Suns from having second-chance opportunities and leak out for the fastbreak.

When it ended, the Nuggets cruised to an 18-point victory and the series lead.

Many expected the Nuggets to step on the pedal and take advantage of the Suns' lack of chemistry, but Game 2 became an all-around ugly affair and was reminiscent of games played in the mid-'00s.

As both teams failed to find the bottom of the bucket, Booker and Durant combining for 59 of the Suns' 87 points was not enough to overcome Jokic's 39-point, 16-rebound onslaught as Denver slipped away with the 97-87 victory.

However, the Suns flipped the script when they returned home as head coach Monty Williams switched up his best rotations to give more minutes to T.J. Warren and Terrence Ross. Jock Landale provided much-needed energy off the bench behind the center spot.

With the series tied at two games apiece, Game 5 is as important as it gets for both squads.

For the Nuggets, sending the Suns home in six allows them to erase the demons of the 2021 postseason when they were unceremoniously swept in four games – albeit without Murray on their squad.

As for the Suns, their title hopes rest on the amount of rest that can be afforded to them by ending the series in six games since the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors series appears to be closing after the former claimed a 3-1 lead over the latter.

The battle over a spot in the Western Conference Finals in the upper half of the bracket tips off at 10 p.m. EDT Tuesday on TNT.

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
#1 Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns celebrates a made basket. PHNX Suns/Twitter