PHOENIX (AP) — Denver mentor Michael Malone is a very little exasperated with his players after fifteen games. In some cases the Nuggets seem like one particular of the NBA’s most effective groups. In some cases they’ve looked dreadful.
He’s just grateful the great model showed up in time on Friday night time.
Nikola Jokic scored 31 points, Gary Harris included 19 and the Nuggets rallied to force extra time right before beating the Phoenix Suns one hundred thirty-126. The acquire pushed Denver previously mentioned .five hundred for the first time this period at 8-7.
“We’ve demonstrated we can do it,” Malone reported. “The challenge is to do it extra continually and as shut to forty eight minutes as attainable.”
Will Barton pushed the Nuggets ahead 124-123 with 1:37 left in extra time on a driving layup and Jamal Murray‘s 13-foot jumper place them up a few points with 28.five seconds left. Denver held on from that issue, winning for the 3rd time in four games to boost to 8-7 this period.
Devin Booker led the Suns with 31 points but took a really hard fall late in extra time and didn’t enjoy the last handful of possessions. Phoenix’s offense looked discombobulated without the need of its major scorer on the flooring and didn’t score a subject goal right until the last seconds when it was too late.
Suns mentor Monty Williams reported that Booker damage his left hamstring and likely would not enjoy on Saturday night time in the rematch involving the two groups.
Suns forward Deandre Ayton experienced 27 points and 13 rebounds, shooting 11 of 13 from the subject. Mikal Bridges included 24 points and 10 rebounds and was 6 of 8 from 3-issue vary.
Denver shot practically fifty two% from the subject and 6 players scored in double figures. Jokic included 10 rebounds and 8 helps and was a massive aspect of the rationale the Nuggets poured in 80 points in the paint.
“I didn’t do what I was supposed to do,” Ayton reported. “They experienced 80 points in the paint tonight and that is on me. I have to be extra of an anchor be extra of a presence down low just to shut it down early.”
The Suns experienced a fourteen-issue direct at halftime but Denver sliced that deficit to ninety five-91 by the close of the 3rd quarter. The Nuggets took their first direct considering the fact that the opening minute when PJ Dozier built a driving layup with 8:33 left that built it 98-ninety seven.
“They have been jointly for a even though so they have been in a good deal extra sport like that, (playoff-type) games like that,” Bridges reported. “Credit to them but if we limit the turnovers, we have a prospect to acquire it.”
Jokic built a lay-up in the lane to tie the sport at 114 with about a 1:07 left in regulation. Both equally groups experienced a few odds to press ahead in the last minute but photographs would not fall.
The Suns jumped out to a 68-fifty four direct at halftime. Booker experienced 19 points and Bridges included 17 after hitting all 5 of his 3-pointers. Chris Paul experienced fourteen helps, which tied a franchise history for the most in a 50 %. Jokic led the Nuggets with sixteen points.
Nuggets: F Michael Porter Jr. played for the first time considering the fact that Dec. 29 after missing 10 games even though in the league’s COVID-19 health and security protocols. He concluded with seven points and 6 rebounds in twenty minutes.
“It felt great to be back again out there,” Porter reported. “Not seeking to force just about anything and mesh with the crew. Get my ft back again underneath me and it was great to get a acquire.”
Suns: F/C Damian Jones and F Dario Saric each skipped the sport due to the fact of the league’s health and security protocols … The Suns were playing their 3rd sport after having a few straight games postponed due to the fact of COVID-19 challenges. It was the first dwelling sport for the Suns considering the fact that Jan. 6. … Abdel Nader included 9 points off the bench. He was aspect of the trade with Oklahoma Metropolis that brought Paul to Phoenix.
The Suns and Nuggets enjoy all over again in Phoenix on Saturday night time.
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