The Suns started off the first quarter looking slow and unfocused. They were uncharacteristically missing open looks and getting out-hustled for rebounds and 50/50 balls, while the Denver Nuggets were on from inside and out, hitting contested jump shots and getting to the rim as well. Marcus Morris was the only Suns player who looked alive to start the game, hitting 3-7 including 2-4 from downtown to lead the Suns with 8 points early on. For the Nuggets, it was Wilson chandler and his hot shooting, going 5-7 from the field and 2-3 from three to lead Denver with 12. The second quarter brought more of the same, and then some. The Suns continued to look lost and out of sync both offensively, and defensively as well. They not only shot the ball poorly, but failed to hustle back in transition and began getting beat at their own game as Denver made them pay with fast-breaks and up-tempo play. The scoring disparity only worsened as the Nuggets continued to gain confidence as the Suns continued their slide. The Suns were down 47-27 halfway through the second quarter...their biggest point deficit in any game so far this season, and it was still only the first half. The Suns bobbled the ball, made sloppy passes, late rotations, and turnovers...It wasn't pretty. They tried to put up a little fight toward the end of the first half, but they couldn't gain any separation due to their inability to get stops on defense...trading baskets doesn't help you gain much ground. At the end of the first half, the Suns were down 62-48. The Nuggets shot 51% from the field, while the Suns shot only 38% in the first half. Phoenix was also out-rebounded 28-18. However, the most surprising stat was the Suns losing the fast break battle in the first half 14-1! The third quarter started with P.J. Tucker missing from the corner 3, he was 0-4 at that point...but he finally got on the board on the next possession by posting up in the paint and getting a hook shot to finally go. The Suns started creeping back into the game little by little, with what seemed like more energy and hustle, but they still couldn't hit the vast majority of their shots. Still, three minutes into the 3rd quarter the Suns had closed the deficit to only 10, down 65-55 at the time before the Nuggets called a time out to talk things over. The Nuggets responded with a couple of quick baskets to re-establish their commanding lead, as the Suns tried everything to get the ball in the basket on offense. To his credit, Plumlee was playing fairly well overall and at least grabbing rebounds for the Suns to keep the Nuggets from punishing Phoenix again on the offensive glass, but the Suns still seemed out of sync, off the mark, and a step slow on offense, and couldn't seem to close the gap with Denver when they had the opportunities to do so. Suddenly, Gerald Green came back in and hit a couple of back to back threes to bring the Suns back to a 10 point deficit, and seemed to be the only player who had anything going offensively in the third quarter. The Suns were down 82-72 at the end of the third quarter. Markieff Morris and Gerald Green both led Phoenix in scoring with 15 points each.
Suns beat Nuggets 103-99 in comeback win
Bright Side Of The Sun | Dec 21