Early on, it looked as though the Phoenix Suns were in store for another disappointing effort, falling behind 8-0 to the Denver Nuggets. However, they did not let this slow start snowball. They fought back to keep the game close in the 1st quarter, used a strong bench effort to take control in the 2nd quarter, and repelled several Denver pushes in the 2nd half to earn a 108-100 victory — their first against Denver since Nov. 20, 2015.
The Suns received a great effort from their bench in the 2nd quarter, opening the period with a 17-3 run to wrest away control from the Nuggets and end the 1st half with a 60-50 lead. Phoenix shot 56.1 percent from the field in the 1st half, including draining 11 of 19 3-pointers.
Denver wasn’t about to go away, though. Jamal Murray opened the 3rd quarter with a dunking display, and the Nuggets trimmed Phoenix’s lead to 62-59. The Suns kept their composure through it and used an 11-0 run of their own to push Denver back. Denver would make another surge in the 4th quarter, climbing to within 101-97 with 3:57 left, but Tyson Chandler had a rebound follow to make it 103-97. Devin Booker found T.J. Warren under the basket on the following possession to stretch the lead to eight and salt the game away.
Booker led the Suns with 30 points, and T.J. Warren, returning from his back issues, had 25 on 11-of-17 shooting. Josh Jackson and Isaiah Canaan each had 16 points for the Suns, with 14 of Canaan’s points coming in the 1st half.
Murray had 30 points for Denver after he was a surprise return from concussion protocol. Nikola Jokic had 14 points and 17 rebounds but never looked fully engaged. Gary Harris was held to 16 points after scoring 36 against Phoenix in the previous meeting.
The Suns finished shooting 49.4 percent from the field and had 28 assists on 40 made field goals.