Green lifts Phoenix over Denver in OT
Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Gerald Green netted a career-high 36 points, including eight in overtime, and the Phoenix Suns defeated the Denver Nuggets, 112-107, on Tuesday night.
After Green sunk a pair of free throws to put Phoenix up 107-103 with 15.5 seconds left, Evan Fournier's three-point play with 8.7 seconds to play cut the gap to one.
Green again hit two free throws and Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek had his team foul instead of allowing a potentially game-trying 3-pointer. Kenneth Faried split the pair, but so did Marcus Morris at the other end to keep it a one- possession game, 110-107, with 6.4 ticks on the clock.
J.J. Hickson misfired on a triple from the left wing and two P.J. Tucker foul shots sealed the outcome.
"I think defensively we did a good job. We managed to take some tough shots and we got the rebounds. We did a better job on the boards. Guys really went after it in that overtime," said Suns coach Jeff Hornacek.
Goran Dragic tallied 21 points and 14 assists, Markieff Morris provided 13 points and 12 rebounds and P.J. Tucker added 13 points and 11 boards for the Suns, who had dropped 3-of-4 heading into the All-Star break.
Fournier had 25 points and eight rebounds, Faried recorded 21 points and 10 boards and Wilson Chandler chipped in with 15 points for Denver, which has lost five in a row.
Phoenix raced out to a 23-11 start before taking a 31-25 lead after a quarter of play. Denver outscored the Suns 26-21 in the second to get within 52-51 going into the break.
Green's trey capped a 10-4 run to begin the second half and gave Phoenix a 62-55 spread, and that margin reached 76-65 after Markieff Morris nailed a jumper late in the third.
The Suns, though, went the next 5:18 without a point as Denver embarked on a 16-0 swing that bridged into the fourth.
Two Fournier free throws staked the Nuggets to a 77-76 edge after three and his driving layup concluded the burst and made it 83-78.
Denver led 99-94 after Fournier split a pair of foul shots with 50.5 seconds in regulation, but the Suns recorded the final five points of the quarter -- both buckets coming off offensive rebounds.
Green missed two triples before Channing Frye connected from straightaway with 35.8 seconds to go and after Fournier was off the mark on a runner, Markieff Morris' putback with 5.7 ticks on the clock knotted the tilt.
"I thought our defense played well enough to come away with the win but our inability to a defensive rebound during that critical stretch at the end fourth quarter where just one of those defensive rebounds, where they got the offensive rebound and the put back, allowed them to push the game into overtime," said Nuggets coach Brian Shaw.
Frye had 11 points and eight rebounds ... The Nuggets held a 58-32 points in the paint margin ... Denver shot just 17.9 percent (5-of-28) from beyond the arc.