The Phoenix Suns dominated from wire to wire tonight against the Denver Nuggets. A sort of statement win against a team plagued with injuries. After struggling in back-to-back games against Dallas withou Luka, they were able to take full advantage of a depleted team.
This was a team win with multiple players performing admirably, including six players in double digits. Cameron Johnson led all scorers with 22 points (career-high) in what was one of the best games of his career, and definitely the best of the season.
The Suns shot 53.5% from the field while holding the Nuggets to 36.7% as a team. Apart from that, the most telling stats of the game were assists and points in the paint. The Suns had 33 assists to the Nuggets’ 20, and they added 56 points in the paint compared to the Nuggets’ 36.
EXPLODING INTO A NEW CAREER-HIGH! pic.twitter.com/jRVl18pVHa— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) November 22, 2021
Phoenix came out throwing flames in the first quarter, Jae Crowder scored all of his 11 points in the first few minutes and they shot 7-8 from three as a team in the quarter. Devin Booker also added two threes in the quarter, and by the time it was done, the Suns had a 48-28 lead at the end of the first.
48 points is the most points they have scored in a quarter all season, and the second most in franchise history.
The second quarter went a little bit more in the Nuggets’ way with them winning the quarter 32-25. They held the Suns to only one three-pointer in the quarter, but the Suns made up for it by getting the ball to Ayton more often. At the end of the half Ayton led all scorers with 18 points on 8-9 shooting.
Suns 73-60 at the half.
Move it around and find the cutting DA. pic.twitter.com/l8EJ67DOPv— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) November 22, 2021
The Suns came out of the half ready to put the game away, Booker and Bridges were more aggressive and they tightened the screws on defense. They forced five turnovers and held the Nuggets to six field goals in the third quarter.
They were able to build the lead to 22 points heading into the fourth, which made it possible to rest their starters for virtually the rest of the game. The final period was the bench mob show. Johnson had 11 of his 22, and Ish Wainright scored his first career points. Ayton was put in for three minuted in order to try to get him his season high but they weren’t successful.
The Suns are now 6-0 on the season against teams with a winning record, they are now 13-3 and still second in the Western Conference.
Star of the Game
Deandre Ayton - 21 PTS, 8 RBS, 2 BLKS, 9-12 FGS
The Suns will be traveling to San Antonio tonight to face off against a struggling Spurs team for the second night of a back to back.