After the Denver Nuggets eliminated the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of the NBA playoffs, Suns star Kevin Durant had high praise for the Nuggets’ center, Nikola Jokic. Despite the disappointment of another early playoff exit, Durant was quick to credit Jokic’s dominant display against his team, calling him “an all-time great” and stating that he will go down as “one of the all-time great centers to ever touch a basketball.”
Jokic’s performance in Game 6 was nothing short of a masterpiece, as he recorded his fifth triple-double of the 2023 postseason with 32 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds, and three blocks. In fact, Jokic has the most triple-doubles of any center in NBA playoffs history, surpassing Wilt Chamberlain’s record of nine. He is now tied with Jason Kidd for the fourth-most triple-doubles ever, trailing only Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, and Magic Johnson.
Despite the loss, Durant acknowledged Jokic’s exceptional talent and the impact he has had on the game. “He went out there and did what he was supposed to do,” Durant said postgame. And it seems that Jokic’s legacy in the NBA continues to grow, as he solidifies his place as one of the greatest centers of all time.
Nikola Jokic’s Masterclass Performance Sends Nuggets to First-Ever NBA Finals, as Kevin Durant Takes Responsibility for Suns’ Demise
In a historic playoff game, the Denver Nuggets dominated the Phoenix Suns from the get-go, with Nikola Jokic leading the charge and powering his team to a staggering 81-51 halftime lead – the largest in their playoff history. Jokic’s exceptional performance in the opening half, which included 20 points, seven assists, and six rebounds on 10-of-12 shooting, left the Suns reeling and searching for answers.
The Suns’ star duo of Kevin Durant and Devin Booker struggled to match Jokic’s production, with Durant managing just eight points on 4-of-11 shooting, and Booker tallying 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting. As the Suns faced the end of their season, they needed more from their dynamic scoring duo. Durant, who made no excuses for his subpar showing in Game 6, took full responsibility for the loss, stating, “It’s all on me, to be honest.”
Steph Curry is now 1-6 in his last 7 playoff games against LeBron without Kevin Durant on his team. pic.twitter.com/dlV3GrnGe1
— LEEZUS (@AndrewLeezus) May 9, 2023
Despite feeling that he had prepared the right way and taken the shots he wanted to take, Durant acknowledged that he had rushed some of his looks and accepted that the blame would ultimately fall on him. He vowed to watch films throughout the summer and examine different actions from the past year to continue improving his game.
With the Nuggets advancing to their first-ever NBA Finals, they now await the winner of the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers. Meanwhile, the Suns will look to retool their roster around Durant and Booker and prepare for a better showing next season.
The historic nature of this game and Durant’s willingness to accept responsibility for the Suns’ defeat make this a standout moment in NBA history.