The Phoenix Suns (4-4) are once again back at the .500 mark after an exciting 110-100 home win over the Denver Nuggets (4-4) on Monday night.
The Suns trailed the Nuggets early on 16-6 in the 1st quarter but the Suns would then go on a 12-2 run of their own behind Goran Dragic who scored 10 of those 12 points to tie the game at 18-18, however Denver would hold the lead 27-23 after one.
The Suns would storm into the 2nd quarter and took the lead 30-29 behind Markieff Morris’ first 3-point field goal of the season.
The Suns trailed 54-57 after Kenneth Faried made 1 of 2 free throws on a Luis Scola foul with the time expiring in the end of the 2nd quarter. Shannon Brown scored 10 points in the 2nd and led all Suns scorers with 11 points at the half; Scola added 8 points and 5 rebounds.
Denver was led in the 1st half by the “Manimal” Kenneth Faried who scored 14 points in 14 minutes of action and pulled down 5 boards. Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala, and JaVale Mcgee each scored 8 first half points.
Both teams did a fine job taking care of the ball in the 1st half as each team committed only 5 turnovers, however the Denver Nuggets were able to get 17 fast break points and scored 38 of their 57 first half points in the painted area.
The Suns came into the 3rd quarter with high energy and outscored Denver 29-21 in the 3rd quarter and took an 83-78 lead heading into the 4th. Jared Dudley scored 9 points in the quarter on 4 of 5 shooting, and Beasley also scored 7 in the 3rd quarter.
The Suns did a terrific job defensively in the 3rd quarter forcing Denver into 6 turnovers and holding them under 30% shooting.
The Suns pushed the lead to as high as 7 points in the 4th period but after a Danlino Gallinari field goal with 3:47 left in the 4th quarter the score was set at 97-96. Goran Dragic would respond by nailing a 3-pointer in the face of Ty Lawson with 3:14 left. However Lawson would come right back to draw a foul and after 2 made free throws the Suns led 100-98.
Markieff Morris had his best game of the season on Monday night. Morris scored 6 of his 13 points in the 4th quarter and got a big time steal on Ty Lawson that led to an easy fast break lay-up for Shannon Brown and the Suns led 104-98 with 2:13 to go. Morris recorded 13 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals on the game.
Shannon Brown had another terrific game and another terrific 4th quarter scoring 8 points in the 4th including a reverse lay-up with the shot clock winding down to give the Suns a 108-100 lead with 57 seconds left to ice the game; Brown scored 19 on the night.
The Phoenix Suns ran a balanced attack on Monday night with 7 players scoring in double figures led by Goran Dragic who scored a game high 21 points; Marcin Gortat and Luis Scola each scored 12 points.
Michael Beasley played a nice all-around game putting in 16 points on 7 of 15 shooting in 25 minutes however Beasley did not see any 4th quarter action. Jared Dudley chipped in 15 points on 7 of 15 shooting as well.
The Suns played terrific on Monday night; they took great care of the basketball committing only 6 turnovers on the game which limited Denver’s fast break buckets. The Suns also shot the ball a lot better, shooting 46% overall from the field, 58% from behind the 3-point line making 7 3-pointers, four of those made by Dragic.
Denver had control of the match-up for most of the 1st half but a poor shooting 3rd quarter and a second half plagued by turnovers(10 TOs in the 2ndhalf for Denver) ultimately cost them this game.
The Nuggets shot the ball very well on the night shooting 54% from the field and 44% from downtown. They were led by Andre Iguodala who scored 17 points and pulled down 9 rebounds, Lawson had 12 points and 8 assists, and JaVale Mcgee had another nice game off bench scoring 16 points and blocking 2 shots.
The Suns improved to 3-1 at home while Denver falls to 2-4 on the road. The Suns will prepare for the Derrick Roseless Chicago Bulls that are coming to Phoenix on Wednesday night. This game was a great sign for the Suns, particularly Markieff Morris who snapped out of his early season struggles and had a huge impact on the game.