Veteran guard Chris Paul stepped up when his team needed him most and the Phoenix Suns ended up winning Game 1 against the Denver Nuggets 122-105. "It's in his hands, man," Suns center Deandre Ayton said. "He's made us comfortable ...
just knowing that he's got it." All five Suns starters finished in double figures and Paul acknowledged that after the game. "That's what I've said all season long: We have a team," Paul said. "If you try to take one of us out or whatnot, we make the right play.
Who you gonna leave open? Mikal [Bridges] is cash. Jae [Crowder] is cash. Cam [Johnson]. I could keep going on and on, and that's the benefits of having a team." Paul suffered an injury in Game 1 against the Los Angeles Lakers and played the rest of the series far from his best.
"It definitely loosens up," Paul said. "One thing about it is you don't get no practice time. The only way you get a chance to see how it is is during the game. It was good. It was fun to get out there and be involved.
That last series was, that was tough. I'm glad to be back helping the team."
Devin Booker gave credit to Paul
"He just made plays," Suns guard Devin Booker said of Paul. "Not only his scoring ability but getting everybody else involved.
That's been the story of the season for us, following him in that regard." Suns head coach Monty Williams also praised Paul. "His ability to read the game, clock management, shot-making. He's done it for a long time," Phoenix coach Monty Williams said.
"Right now, he's probably critiquing himself and picking at some things he could do a lot better. He makes a lot of our stuff look better because he's been in these situations before and understands the moment."
Nuggets' Aaron Gordon could do nothing but acknowledge the greatness of Paul. "Man, it's a different game for him these days from when I was watching him play," Nuggets forward Gordon said of Paul. "He was a lot more explosive back in the day, getting to the cup.
He's always been really smart, and he just keeps getting smarter. He's a maestro out there orchestrating them. He really has uplifted that whole Phoenix team.