The Phoenix Suns aim to keep their title hopes alive on Thursday night as they take on the Denver Nuggets in a crucial Game 6 matchup.
However, it appears things are turning south rather quickly for Phoenix, as an injury update hinders their chances.
According to Shams Charania, Deandre Ayton is officially ruled out with a rib contusion. The Suns will be without Ayton for Game 6 against the Nuggets.
JUST IN: Deandre Ayton has been ruled OUT of Game 6 vs. Nuggets Thursday night due to a rib contusion, sources tell @ShamsCharania.
Denver currently has a 3-2 series lead over Phoenix. pic.twitter.com/1FCxyv5W3s
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) May 11, 2023
This is just brutal news for Phoenix. Ayton is one of the core players on the roster. Additionally, his play in the paint keeps Nikola Jokic busy on the defensive end.
That will surely be missing now with Deandre Ayton out of the Suns lineup.
Losing that scoring prowess in the paint could be detrimental for Phoenix. Defeating the Nuggets without Ayton is not impossible. But it certainly doesn’t help the situation either.
To make matters worse. Reports also indicate that the Suns will be without Chris Paul as well.
Interesting developments for game 6 #Nuggets vs #Suns. Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul declared out. Jamal Murray is questionable with an illness. Many Nuggets feeling sick and shoot-around was cut short this morning. #MileHighBasketball @DenverChannel pic.twitter.com/dVu9TTKzI1
— Lionel Bienvenu (@lionelbienvenu) May 11, 2023
It’s up to Kevin Durant and Devin Booker to pull through for Phoenix if they hope to remain alive.
A victory on Thursday night gives the Suns one more opportunity. Meanwhile, the Nuggets have the chance to eliminate Phoenix altogether.
It should be an entertaining matchup. Both teams should be giving it their all. The Suns hope to win to remain in the playoff race while the Nuggets look to advance to the Western Conference Finals.