It wasn't realistic to expect the Suns to easily destroy the Nuggets a second time after their cakewalk Saturday night, and the Nuggets certainly responded to their poor performance in the last outing.
A 20-0 Nuggets run to close the first quarter and open the second put the Suns in a hole that got as big as 17, but Brandon Knight dominated after turning his ankle early, carrying the Suns to a huge comeback win with a career high 38 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists. Goran who?
This game started similarly sloppy to the last game, but this time it was the Nuggets who pulled away in the middle of the first half before the Suns dominated 65-44 in second half.
Emmanuel Mudiay bounced back from his poor outing vs. Eric Bledsoe Saturday to lead the Nuggets with 26 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds, his best performance as a young pro. This kid's going to be a great player.
A strong Suns second half run reduced the lead from 17 down to 5, then the Nuggets cranked it back up to 12 before the Suns started to come back for good behind a spectacular performance from Knight and outstanding 3 point sharpshooting overall. Ronnie Price, Mirza Teletovic and Jon Leuer combined for 7 made 3 pointers. The Suns converted 56% of their 3 point attempts on the night, a recipe for success.
Knight was the story with his latest superstar performance, but the Suns also received quality performances from P.J. Tucker and Ronnie Price, who worked hard while the Suns were struggling to help bring them back, playing bigger than their stats show.
Bledsoe had sort of a ho-hum game with 22 points, and what does it say about the growth of Bledsoe that such a game can be seen as just OK?
The Nuggets weren't going to lie down as they did last time, and their youngsters showed lots of fight at home. T.J. Warren contributed next to nothing, and this game looked kinda over after the Nuggets big second half run, but this Suns team is not one that quits.
Bledsoe/Knight is the backcourt McDonough and Hornacek envisioned. As long as they trade off and occasionally overlap star performances, wins will come.