When the Phoenix Suns acquired 13 times All-Star Kevin Durant at the NBA trade deadline, the idea of being cut in an elimination game for the second year in a row was not on anyone’s mind.
In the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Suns in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals, losing by 33 points to end their season.
On Thursday, Phoenix lost by 25 points to the denver nuggetsthis time in Game 6 of the conference semifinals, ending their season.
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«It was a bad feeling,» Durant said. «It was embarrassing. They came out and hit us in the mouth and we couldn’t recover.»
The Suns trailed by 30 points at halftime, the same deficit they faced against the Mavericks last season, and heard boos from the home crowd.
«It was disheartening to see them score like that and run down the court getting easy buckets.» suns trainer Monty Williams said. «That falls on my shoulders not having us ready to play at the highest level in the biggest game of the year.»
It was a tremendously disappointing way to end the season for Phoenix, who gave up a lot of money to acquire Durant in February.
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The Suns packaged Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, four first-round picks (2023, 2025, 2027, 2029) and a first-round pick trade in 2028 to get Durant.
Without the services of Chris Paul and deandre ayton due to injuries, the Nuggets jumped on the Suns, essentially putting the game up for grabs in the second quarter.
Phoenix will now head into the offseason looking for the right players to surround Durant in order to bring in the first nba championship To the city.
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«We just have to be better next year,» Durant said, according to ESPN. «It’s hard right now to see what the future holds for our team, but we have a good foundation, a good infrastructure. We can build and build on this and learn from it and improve. I’m sure the summer starts and the offseason, we’ll figure it out a bit more.»
The Nuggets will wait for the series winner between los angeles lakers and the Golden State Warriors.
Associated Press contributed to this report