The Suns are Denver’s most wanted after stealing two wins at the Pepsi Center. Or maybe they are Denver’s least wanted because the Nuggets did nothing but lose to the Suns in every way possible this season. After rallying from 21 down in their first victorious visit here this season, the Suns completed a four-game season sweep of the Nuggets with a 112-107 overtime win against Denver despite 37.6-percent shooting and a five-point deficit in the final minute of regulation. Suns guard Gerald Green set a career scoring high with 36 points, including 19 in the second half and eight in overtime, despite first-half foul trouble keeping him to 30 minutes. Point guard Goran Dragic added a season-best 14 assists, but the Suns needed four offensive rebounds in the final minute to reach overtime. Markieff Morris’ offensive boards set up a Channing Frye 3-pointer and his own follow to set up overtime, where Green’s driving slam broke the ice, and his four consecutive free throws helped cinch a win. “My role is to be ultra-aggressive,” Green said. “It’s been that way since Day 1. Even when we are playing good, I feel like I need to be aggressive.” The Suns were dragging at mile-high altitude coming out of the All-Star break, but that is when it is good to have a guy like Green, who never tires. He made 11 of 22 shots, including six 3-pointers, for his second 30-point game in three weeks. “Nah, I didn’t feel tired,” Green said amid teammates who were exhausted in overtime. “When you got the adrenaline going, the last thing on your mind is feeling tired.” Phoenix (31-21) gave Denver (24-28) its fifth consecutive loss, but the Nuggets were not routed for the first time in the stretch despite not having star Ty Lawson. The Nuggets struggled offensively just as much, shooting 38.4 percent with no healthy true point guard. The Suns wanted a fast start at Denver to make sure the reeling, injury-riddled Nuggets could not find confidence. The Suns also did not want to get worn down before tonight’s home game and after having five off days. They got their wish, racing out to a 10-2 lead before Denver coach Brian Shaw called a timeout. The Suns kept going, keying off defensive stops to take a 21-7 lead when Denver was fouling from its heels. Just as Suns coach Jeff Hornacek went to his bench earlier than usual, Denver gained traction. The Nuggets pounded the Suns on post-ups to either score or draw fouls to the point that the Suns had four players with three fouls (Markieff Morris, Alex Len, Green and Frye) and one with four fouls (Miles Plumlee) by halftime. The Suns’ bench missed its first seven shots and the second unit went through another cold stretch to start the second quarter until Hornacek started to bring starters back to resuscitate the offense.
Green leads Suns to overtime win against Nuggets
Arizona Republic | Feb 19