Devin Booker was arguably the NBA’s best player through the first round of the playoffs. Booker and the Phoenix Suns entered their second-round series against the Denver Nuggets as the favorite to win the Western Conference, so they were hoping to make a statement in Game 1 and show their advantage. 

That did not look like that was the case on Saturday. The Suns lost Game 1 to the Nuggets, 125-107, at Ball Arena behind a team effort from Denver.

The Nuggets took 17 more shots than the Suns, outrebounded them 49-38 and forced 16 turnovers. The Suns looked very limited behind Booker and Kevin Durant, who had 29 points in the game but also had seven turnovers.

Booker talked after the game about the team’s physicality.

“We were good in spurts,” Booker said, per The Arizona Republic's Duane Rankin. “Early on it was tough. We got physical and a lot of fouls were called.

“That’s that. We understand it’s going to be physical, they’re a physical team. They’re going to be on the offensive boards, there’s going to be a lot going on in the paint. We just need to take care of them.” 

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Booker had 27 points in the game, which was second on Phoenix. He was below his postseason average of 37.2 points entering Game 1, which was the most of any player in these playoffs.

Despite the Suns’ inconsistencies, Booker believes they can correct things for Game 2. 

“I always believe in us,” he said. “We’ve been a good team all year of digesting the game … and learning from it and making those corrections.”

Booker and the Suns responded from a Game 1 loss against the Los Angeles Clippers last series to win their next four games. 

Phoenix will hope to split the first two games in Game 2 on Monday.