Point guard Chris Paul scored 17 points and set an NBA play-off record as he helped the Phoenix Suns to a 123-98 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

Paul became the first player to rack up three play-off games with 15 assists and no turnovers.

An emphatic win gave the Suns a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semi-finals series.

It was the Nuggets’ heaviest defeat of the season, with head coach Michael Malone calling it “embarrassing”.

Devin Booker scored a team-best 18 points for the Suns, who have now won five consecutive post-season games.

Denver’s Nikola Jokic, who was announced on Wednesday as the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, was the visitors’ most influential player with 24 points, 13 rebounds and six assists – more than his side’s other starters combined – despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter.

Game three will be played in Denver on Friday.