Denver has no mercy on Phoenix
Coming off a win against the Warriors without four of their usual starters and without a good portion of their replacements, the Suns continue tonight on a dangerous trip to the Rockies. At altitude in Denver, Phoenix ran out of juice on the second night of its “back-to-back”, losing quite widely (126-97) against the Nuggets, who have won 14 of their last 17 games. .
Unlike the “classic” between the two teams on Christmas Eve, with Aaron Gordon’s amazing dunk – and clutch – on Landry Shamet in particular, the new meeting between the Suns and Nuggets turned into a battle. The Nuggets made short work of their opponents after a solid first half, where they would count up to 23 points early!
Led by Bones Hyland and Kentavious Caldwell Pope, with 21 and 15 points respectively, as well as their executives, including a near triple-double in three quarters by Nikola Jokic (21 points, 18 rebounds, 9 assists), the Nuggets logically pocket a 12th straight victory at home.
Conversely, things are getting more complicated for the Suns with their current gutted workforce. Even worse, Monty Williams couldn’t break the news on Chris Paul’s return…
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
— An offensive display from the Nuggets. 57% on shots, including 52% from 3-pointers, was the statistic of Denver at halftime, with 70 points scored, against 54 matches. Easy, like Bones Hyland, who already had 17 points in 13 minutes, the Nuggets easily tamed the Suns by turning the ball over perfectly and finding open shots. Hyland and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope even combined for a perfect 9/9 3-pointer in the first half, much to the chagrin of an already depleted Phoenix defense.
— Tired Day. Just like the day before against Golden State, after the victory, Monty Williams appeared warrior and regrouped like a cuckoo in a press conference, also tonight, he seemed depressed and frustrated. Still drained of most of his life’s blood, the Suns technician can’t help but regret this current carnage, as it’s so tiresome back-to-back: “It’s good to have another body on the bench [en Saben Lee, signé avant le match]. When I look at my bench, and I see more coaches than players, I’m… It’s… Yeah, I’ll stop there. [De plus], when you have to fly two hours and then you have to drive 30 or 40 minutes, that’s a lot for any team. »
✅ Nikola Jokic. The reigning two-time MVP didn’t have to push his talent last night. Resting the entire last quarter, he quietly turned his team around before that, for a hefty total of 21 points, 18 rebounds and 9 assists, on a clean 10/15 on shots.
✅ Bones Hyland. He hasn’t passed his twenties in 2023, it’s over now. Perfect in the first half, with 17 points on 6/8 shots including 5/5 from 3-pointers, Bones Hyland perfectly played his role as an imp who comes out of his box during the match. A luxurious offensive joker for Denver.
✅ Zeke Nnaji. Capable of great outings in his third season in the League, he was able to take advantage of the increased playing time to show for himself with 15 points on 6/9 shots. Competing with Slovenian Vlatko Cancar for minutes at the post 4, Nnaji proved in any case that the Nuggets have a richer bench than we think.
⛔ Duane Washington Jr.. Such is life in the NBA: his coach the day before, Duane Washington Jr. congratulated him. was under the bag on Wednesday night, after a bad night of shooting. Limited to 3/14 overall, the former Pacers finished with 8 points, 5 assists and 4 wild shots. A bad night in all respects!
Denver (28-13) : travel to Los Angeles to face the Clippers on Friday.
Phoenix (21-22) : traveling to Minneapolis on Friday.