Phoenix Suns: 3 Takeaways From Game 1 Victory vs Denver Nuggets

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Game 1 Takeaway: Deandre Ayton will not be bullied by Jokic

Deandre Ayton already passed a tough test when he held Anthony Davis to 17.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, and a lackluster 40.3 field goal percentage during round one. Granted, Davis played while nursing a groin injury that even caused him to exit early during Game 6, but Ayton still performed notably well even with said circumstances acknowledged, averaging 15.8 points and 10.7 rebounds per game while shooting 79.6 percent.

But for the few still doubting Ayton even after watching him wreak havoc on the defending champs last week, MVP-favorite Nikola Jokic enters as an even higher hurdle for Ayton to leap over, likely warranting even greater praise if bested. Getting off to a good start, Ayton not only held his own against Jokic, but quite frankly outplayed him.

While guarded by Jokic the former Wildcat scored 13 points and shot 6-8 from the field. But with Ayton defending Jokic, he added 11 points but shot just 5-14.

Collectively, Ayton finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds while Jokic contributed with 22 points and 9 rebounds. Although Jokic lead the NBA with 60 double-doubles during the regular season this year, it was Ayton who secured one last night en route to the win. Both players logged 36 minutes, and Ayton also shot an overall 69.2 percent to Jokic’s 43.5 percent. Jokic also finished with four turnovers, while Ayton gave up the rock just once.

No matter what way you look at it, Ayton showed his might, and refused to let The Joker intimidate him. We might even be calling him “Batman” once this series reaches its conclusion.