Denver has no mercy on Phoenix
Coming off a win over the Warriors without four of their regular starters and a good portion of their replacements, the Suns continue tonight with a dangerous trip to the Rockies. High in Denver, Phoenix ran out of juice on the second night of a back-to-back, losing 126-97 to the Nuggets in full swing with 14 wins in their last 17 games. .
Unlike the “classic” between the two teams on Christmas Eve, this new meeting between the Suns and Nuggets turned into a battle, with Aaron Gordon’s fantastic dunk and clutch especially on Landry Shamet. The Nuggets made short work of their opponents after a smooth first half, during which they would score 23 points early!
Bones Hyland and Kentavious Caldwell Pope, with 21 and 15 points, respectively, also led by their leaders, including Nikola Jokic (21 points, 18 rebounds, 9 assists), almost triple-double in three quarters, Nuggets. logically pocketed the 12th consecutive victory at home.
Conversely, with a gut-wrenched pitching staff right now, things are getting more complicated for the Suns. Even worse, Monty Williams failed to announce the return of Chris Paul…
WHAT TO REMEMBER
— Offensive display from the Nuggets. 57%, including 52% from 3-point range, was Denver’s 54-to-70 halftime stat. Easy, like Bones Hyland, the Nuggets, who already had 17 points in 13 minutes, easily tamed the Suns by turning the ball over perfectly and finding open shots. Hyland and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope even combined for a perfect 9-of-9 3-point shooting in the first half, which hurt an already depleted Phoenix defense.
— Exhausted Suns. Against Golden State the day before, Monty Williams looked combative after the win and regrouped like a cuckoo in his press conference, looking just as frustrated and disappointed tonight. Still drained of most of his lifeblood, the Suns coach inevitably lamented this current carnage, a grueling back-and-forth: “It’s good to have another body on the bench [en Saben Lee, signé avant le match]. When the bench players look at my bench and see more coaches than players, I’ll… It’s… Yeah, I’ll stand there. [De plus], you have to fly for two hours and then drive for 30 or 40 minutes, which is a lot for any team. »
✅ Nikola Jokic. The reigning two-time MVP didn’t have to force his talent last night. Rested during the final quarter, he quietly turned the team around before that, totaling 21 points, 18 rebounds and 9 assists on a very clean 10/15 shooting.
✅ Bones Hyland. In 2023, he was not yet twenty years old, now it is over. With a perfect first half, 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including 5-of-5 from 3-point range, Bones Hyland perfectly took on the role of emperor coming out of his box during the matchup. A luxury offensive joke for Denver.
✅ Zeke Nnaji. Able to perform well in his third season in the league, he was able to use the increased playing time to shine with 15 points on 6/9 shooting. Competing with Slovenian Vlatko Cancar for minutes at the 4 post, Nnaji is proving, if anything, that the Nuggets have a richer bench than we thought.
⛔ Duane Washington Jr.. Such is life in the NBA: Duane Washington Jr., who was congratulated by his coach the day before. He was at the bottom of the bag on Wednesday evening after an unpleasant evening in the shootouts. Limited to 3/14 overall, the former Pacers finished with 8 points, 5 assists and 4 free throws. Bad evening in every way!
Denver (28-13) : Travel to Los Angeles to face the Clippers on Friday.
Phoenix (21-22) : travel to Minneapolis on Friday.