Dragic leads way as Suns scorch Nuggets
Phoenix, AZ – Goran Dragic scored a game-high 21 points and dished out seven assists to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 110-100 win over the Denver Nuggets on Monday.
Shannon Brown scored 19 points off the bench and Michael Beasley added 16 for the Suns, winners in three of their last four.
Markieff Morris chipped in with 13 points, six rebounds and five assists while also adding a key defensive play late in the fourth quarter to help secure win.
"It's a good win. I thought we played well, we had a lot of guys that stepped up and I thought did some good things," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "I thought Markieff had one of his best games of the season. I thought overall as a team we played well and did a good job, and it was a good win against a quality team."
Andre Iguodala scored a team-high 17 points and pulled down nine rebounds and JaVale McGee added 16 for the Nuggets, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.
"They just did a good job of picking us apart on defense. We really couldn't get any stops," Iguodala said. "They had a couple of guys that just had it going. Defensively we've been a lot better the last four games and tonight we just had some mental lapses."
Leading by just one with just under four minutes left, Dragic buried a 3- pointer to put the Suns up 100-96. Denver point guard Ty Lawson was then fouled and converted a pair of free throws to pull within 100-98.
Morris received the ball in the post on the ensuing possession and was fouled by Kenneth Faried, and sank the subsequent free throws. Lawson then hurried the ball upcourt, but was stripped by Morris and Dragic found Brown streaking down the right side for a fastbreak layup to put Phoenix on top 104-98.
Following a Faried traveling violation, Dragic nailed a step-back jumper from the right elbow with 1:38 left to put the final nail in the coffin for Denver.
Danilo Galinari and Andre Miller each split a pair of free throws to cut it to six, but an acrobatic reverse layup from Brown and a Gortat put back accounted for the final margin.
Denver lead 27-23 after the first quarter after shooting 57.9 percent from the field. Faried netted seven of his 14 points in the frame and Iguodala scored five for the Nuggets.
The Suns were able to cut it to 57-54 at the break after outscoring Denver 31-30 in the second. Brown poured in 11 points in the frame and Dragic added 10.
Phoenix trailed as many as five in the third, but used a 14-2 run to take an 83-78 lead into the final period.
The Suns had seven double-digit scoring efforts ... Phoenix was 58.3 percent (7-for-12) from 3-point range and had just six turnovers ... The Suns start 3-1 at home for the first time since the 2009-10 season, which was the last time they made the playoffs ... The Nuggets are just 12-18 against the Suns since 2004-05