It took them nearly a quarter, but led by their bench the Suns
flipped the script in the second half and came away with a
surprising 103-99 win over the Denver Nuggets on Friday.
Forward Markieff Morris scored 25 points, guard Gerald Green added
19 points and the Suns rallied from a 17-point deficit in the third
quarter to beat the Nuggets.
Guard Goran Dragic had 17 points and forward Marcus Morris added 14
for the Suns, who have won six of their last seven.
"We never quit. When we got down 14 at halftime we talked about how
we weren't playing with the right effort," Markieff Morris said.
"Everybody loses games but it's embarrassing to be down by (21) in
the first half."
They did something about it, outscoring Denver 44-23 over the final
"I know it's still early but you can't let games slip like this,"
guard Randy Foye said.
Center J.J. Hickson had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Nuggets,
who have dropped two straight and three of their last four.
The Suns' surprising start to the season included a 114-103 win over
Denver in Phoenix on Nov. 8. They looked like easy pickings when
they fell behind 60-39 in the second quarter Friday before stunning
the Nuggets in the fourth.
"We sensed we could win the game, even though we were down 21,"
Green said. "There was no point where we thought we were going to
lose. We knew something had to change and it did."
Green got the Suns close in the third quarter when he hit four of
his six 3-pointers and the Morris brothers grabbed the baton in the
fourth. Markieff and Marcus both had three-point plays and a
3-pointer to get the Suns within two, and guard Ish Smith hit a
fast-break layup to tie it at 88.
"Obviously our bench guys Gerald, Markeiff and Marcus helped," Suns
coach Jeff Hornacek said. "We got a big lift from Ish. A lot of
credit to our bench guys."
Dragic's fast-break layup gave the Suns a 91-90 lead, their first
since the first quarter, and Green hit another 3-pointer to make it
94-90 with 5:21 left.
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Denver rallied to take a 97-96 lead on forward Darrell
Arthur's 17-foot jumper with 2:50 left but Dragic's two free
throws and layup with a minute left gave Phoenix a 101-97 lead.
Hickson's dunk with 16 seconds left made it a two-point game,
and guard Eric Bledsoe made just one of two free throws to give
Denver a chance.
Guard Randy Foye missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key and
the Suns closed it out.
It was a tough loss for the Nuggets, who have now dropped five
on homecourt after going 38-3 here last season. They couldn't
stop the Suns, who held them to 28 percent shooting in the
"Tonight, we were just a front running," Nuggets coach Brian
Shaw said. "Everything, when it was going good for us in the
first half, we were all smiles and played as if the game was
over and didn't have a second half to play. It's my fault. I
mismanaged the game."
It looked like Denver would cruise to the win when it led 76-59
in the third, but the Suns chipped away, with Green leading the
way. His fourth 3-pointer of the third made it 80-72.
The Nuggets led 28-20 after the first but increased it to 19
after guard Evan Fournier's putback with 6:48 left in the first
Foye's 3-pointer with 1:42 left gave Denver a 21-point lead, but
the Suns closed the quarter on a 9-2 run to get within 62-48 at
NOTES: Nuggets F Jordan Hamilton missed Friday's game while
serving a one-game suspension for throwing a punch at Oklahoma
City C Steven Adams in Denver's loss to the Thunder on Tuesday.
... Suns F Channing Frye entered Friday having scored 20 and 22
points in his last two games. It is the first time he scored at
least 20 points in consecutive games since February 2011. He was
scoreless at halftime against Denver. ... Nuggets G Ty Lawson
played despite having the flu Thursday. He was excused from
practice and felt better by Friday's shootaround. ... Phoenix Gs
Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe are both averaging more than 18
points and six assists a game. The last teammates to do so were
Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen of the 1991-92 Chicago Bulls.
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