The Suns' championship hopes evaporated in the desert air Thursday night.
Playing in front of their home crowd, the Suns were obliterated by the Denver Nuggets, 125-100, in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Denver’s victory clinched the series at 4-2 and earned the club a berth in the conference finals.
The Nuggets will play the winner of the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors series.
Game 6 was over by halftime when Denver went into the locker room leading 81-51 as the Phoenix crowd booed the Suns for their listless performance.
“It sucked. It was a bad feeling, embarrassing.
They came out and hit us in the mouth and we couldn’t recover,” Suns forward Kevin Durant said postgame. “We have to give them credit for being a disciplined team.”
While Durant wasn’t a member of the Suns last year, it was a bit of déjà vu for Phoenix.
For the second consecutive season, the Suns were blown off their home court in an elimination playoff game.
Last year, the Suns lost 123-90 to the Dallas Mavericks in the conference semifinals in Game 7.
The fateful loss last season occurred on May 15, almost a year to the day of this one.
“It hurt big time, especially with our team. It just hurt in front of the fans. That’s not us.
Especially after last year, we kind of did the same thing. It’s not a good feeling.
I wish it could’ve been at least closer,” Suns guard Cameron Payne, who had a team-high 31 points, said. “This just don’t look good.”
Suns coach Monty Williams acknowledged that "(both games) bring bad feelings about the game and what you're trying to accomplish."