The Phoenix Suns came out running hard and the Denver Nuggets stayed with them for three quarters.
And then GERALD GREEN happened. Dunks. Threes. It was a thing of beauty.
And then the game was over, despite there being 6 minutes left.
Markieff Morris: 15 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 blocks and 3 steals
- Correction: Markieff Morris 15 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 blocks, 3 steals DAMN!
- Eric Bledsoe: 21 points, 10 assists, 3 steals
- Goran Dragic: 20 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
- But Gerald Green was the player of the game: 24 points in the most spectacular fashion possible!
Isaiah Thomas sat out the game with a twisted ankle, hurt on that "offensive foul" on Monday night that partially cost the Suns the game against Toronto. Hornacek said the minutes would go to Dragic, Bledsoe and Green.
The game started with Bledsoe letting Faried get the tipped ball, but then Bledsoe calmly took it back. The Suns got out to a 5-0 lead but then the Nuggets began following their own shots for putbacks, then Afflalo put Goran's nuts on the chopping block while making a turnaround, then sank a three and got four points on their next possession on a fast break slam, foul and tech. Suns down 14-9 quickly.
The Suns came to tie it on a couple of nice shots by Bledsoe, Kieff and Marcus Morris (a three) around a Mozgov third-chance jumper on the baseline.
The Nuggets scored the next six points on nice plays to Afflalo (post up), Chandler (FB) and lob to Mozgov in the half court. But then the Suns went on a run of their own.
Fast game, men and women. Fast game.
And then it was the Alex Len show! First a pick-and-roll dunk and-1. Then an FB dunk. Then a drive, finish and-1. LEN! The Nuggets only stayed close on a couple of threes.
The runs were crazy: Suns up 5-0, then 7-7, then Nuggets 14-9, then 16-16, then Nuggets 22-16, then 24-24, then Suns 34-30 at the end of the quarter.
The second quarter started just as fast as the first. The Suns got bailed out by a Gerald Green three on a bad possession after Len had a great block on Nate Robinson in the lane.
The Suns ran out to a 39-33 lead but then the Nuggets came right back on Suns miscues. First, the Suns scored on themselves on a missed rebound, then Alex Len tried (and failed) to run the break on a turnover.
At one point Dragic and Robinson began going at each other with Nate getting most of the calls but Dragic finishing most of the shots.
After 15 minutes, Markieff Morris quietly had 9 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists. While we were all looking the Slash Bros and Alex Len.
The Suns had a nice lead 50-45 but then the Nuggets went on a run to take a 55-53 lead on a three by Afflalo (who drew the foul but missed the shot).
The Suns had been doing well defensively this past week, but the Nuggets ran all over their transition defense for 64 points before intermission. Ty Lawson had 5 points and 8 assists by halftime. That's pretty good.
The Suns barely kept up, tied at 64-64 at halftime.
For the Nuggets, Arron Afflalo had 14 points at halftime on 7 shots and Ty Lawson had 8 assists.
For the Suns, Eric Bledsoe had 14 points, 4 assists and 3 steals. Alex Len had 10 points, 3 rebounds (vs. Mozgov's 10 and 7). The Dragon had 8 points, 2 rebounds and an assist. And Markieff Morris had the 9, 3 and 3. The Suns only went 8 players deep, with Isaiah Thomas out.
The Suns started well but the Nuggets weren't going away. They kept up the pace (might there be 150 possessions each tonight?) and kept runnin.
Markieff Morris is so dangerous. Catches the ball on the high post and waits as guys cut through the lane. He passes or drives for open shot. On one possession, it was a nice interior pass to Marcus for a short jumper. On the next, it was his own drive for a short jumper.
Oh, and the Slash Brothers were slashing. Time after time, driving down together on the fast break.
Suns at one point built a 10-point lead as the Nuggets looked to be tiring out (78-68). The Nuggets cut it to 6, but then the Suns kept it up to 10.
And then Bright Side got what it wanted all week. ALL THE MINUTES FOR GORAN. F Thomas (out with ankle). F Bledsoe (out with hip). You got it. Right back to February 2014 all over again. FEEL THE EUPHORIA!
Wait. What's that? They were a .500 ball club with just Goran in the back court? Gasp.
The Suns promptly fell apart and the Nuggets pulled back to within three before the Suns finally a got clean look (Green for three) and then another that wasn't clean but still went in (GREEN).
Suns up 93-86 despite Nuggets getting 41 free throws by the end of the third quarter.
Bledsoe came back (PHEW! Just kidding Suns fans - I know you love Eric!) and the Suns promptly got the lead back to 10. The Nuggets keep going to that rim, tho.
But the Suns were out for blood, especially Gerald Green.
That inbounds dunk. Those high floating threes that somehow look like they are coming down hill from how high he jumps, to an alley-oop dunk in the half court, to another THREE!
Holy crap its the GERALD SHOW! Someone please put together a montage for us. This is UNREAL.
Suns by 16.
The rest is just filler.
GIF me Suns fans!