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Recap: Nuggets squash shorthanded Suns 132-95 despite a 35 point night by Devin Booker

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It wasn’t pretty past the first quarter.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Denver Nuggets Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Suns had only ten players dressed tonight and played only nine. The kept it close until the end of the 2nd quarter but were never able to cut into the Nuggets’ lead in the third before Denver pulled ahead for good.

With big men Deandre Ayton and Richaun Holmes both sidelined again, the Suns were killed on the boards 57-35. If not for the Suns actually cutting into the Nuggets’ rebounding lead in garbage time, it would have been much worse. The Suns had a grand total of 2 offensive rebounds vs 16 for the Nuggets.

Devin Booker led the Suns in scoring with 35 points while only playing for three quarters. Josh Jackson had 17, Dragan Bender had 14 and Kelly Oubre Jr. had 13. Quincy Acy led the Suns in rebounding with 10.

Denver had eight players score in double figures with Paul Millsap leading the way with 20.

The Suns’ shooting was terrible with 42.1% from the field and 23.3% from three. Denver shot 50% and 41.7% respectively. Only from the free throw line did the Suns best Denver as they hit 92.3% (24 of 26) vs 79.3% (23 of 29).

1st Quarter

Nuggets win the tip and go up 6-0 early. The Nuggets are hitting their jumpers and the Suns aren’t. 12-3 Nuggets.

The Suns do not look sharp tonight and have already committed 2 turnovers.

Josh Jackson is the only Suns player to score so far. The Nuggets are now up 17-5.

Booker goes on a one man 7-0 run to make it 17-12. The Suns are looking more lively as they make it a 21-17 game with 5:05 to play.

Booker (11 points) and Murray (13 points) are having a scoring duel now. Denver leads 34-26 with 2:09 left to play. FG percentages have equaled out for both teams but Denver has out rebounded the Suns 9-5 and put up 7 more shots so far.

The quarter ends with Nuggets up 37-32.

Booker has 15 points, Murray has 13 for the Nuggets.

2nd Quarter

Good hustle by the Suns’ to start the second quarter.

The Suns turn up the defensive pressure and cut Denver’s lead to 3. 41-38 as Denver calls time with 9:12 to go.

Back and forth scoring but the Suns pull even - 47-47 - with 6:41 left in the half. Josh Jackson now has 14 points. Defense has gotten the Suns back in this game.

The Nuggets are ahead 49-47 as time is called with 6:02 remaining. The Suns are ahead in FG percentage, 53.6% to 48.6%, but Denver is ahead in three point shooting, 50% to 36.4%.

Denver goes on a 5-0 run and the Suns call time. 54-47 Nuggets lead. The Suns cut it to 54-51 but it doesn’t last long. Denver goes on a 6-0 run to make it 60-51.

Too many missed shots for the Suns near the end of the quarter and it ends with the Nuggets leading 70-55.

At the Half

Devin Booker leads all scorer with 21 in the 1st half. Josh Jackson has 14 for the Suns but also already has 4 personal fouls. Jamal Murray leads the Nuggets with 13 but Will Barton, Paul Millsap and Mason Plumlee are all also in double figures.

Again, rebounding has really hurt the Suns. They have 14 and Denver has almost double that amount with 27.

The Suns are shooting only 28.6% from three while the Nuggets have been steady at 50% while attempting more from long range (18 vs 14).

3rd Quarter

Several missed opportunities for both teams early but the Suns manage to shorten the Nuggets’ lead to 12 in the first three minutes of the 3rd.

The Nuggets rally and go up 79-61 with 7:34 left in the 3rd. The Suns have missed some easy shots.

Jackson picks up his 5th foul and the Nuggets go up 83-63. This one is starting to slip away.

Booker now has 31 - 13 of those are from the FT line - but the Suns can’t seem to make a dent in the Nuggets’ lead. Now 94-75 Nuggets with 2:30 left in the 3rd. Denver now has six players in double figures, the Suns have three.

Nuggets lead 98-81 at the end of the 3rd quarter.

4th Quarter

The Nuggets quickly extend their lead to 104-81 forcing Igor Kokoskov to call a timeout after just 45 seconds.

Denver is just having their way with the Suns on the boards, 42-26 so far. Denver up 106-85.

The Suns are still hustling on defense but can’t convert on offense... especially from outside. The Suns are 7 of 23 from three. Denver is 14 of 34.

The Nuggets are up 115-90 with 6:00 to go.

Booker has been on the bench for the entire 4th quarter so the Suns have conceded this one early.

This game is over.

Suns lose 132-95.