Sometimes it feels like the roles have changes between these teams. The Denver Nuggets aren’t horrendous like the Phoenix Suns were last season, but there’s nothing truly remarkable about them right now. The Suns? A year that should have been about rebuilding is turning into something very different, thanks to Jeff Hornacek on the sidelines and a bunch of mostly young players who didn’t read the memo about them supposedly tanking.
The 103-99 win takes the Suns to 15-10, right now good enough for #6 in the West. Better than the Lakers, Warriors, Timberwolves and Grizzlies, all teams that should have been in the mix for a playoffs spot. They got their latest victory without a big night from Eric Bledsoe, who scored only 10 points, leaving most of the work for Goran Dragic, scoring 17 points and adding 6 assists.
However, the bench came through in the victory more than anything else. Markieff Morris responded very well to being benched in the second quarter for some lack of effort, finishing with 25 points and 6 rebounds. His twin brother finished with 14 points. The Suns were winning by 20 points when both of them were on the court. Gerald Green surprisingly made his mark without any impressive dunks, hitting six 3-points en route to 19 points.
We never quit. We came out and fought all the way to the end. That just goes to show you what type of team we have. Some nights are not going to be everybody’s night. Any given night, somebody can step up on this team and help us win. That’s what it takes. That shows a lot about our character. I’ve got to give coach the credit, he never panicked. He never yelled at us. He just kept with it, kept telling us to stick with the plan and it’s going to work.
The Nuggets were up by 17 points with only four minutes left in the third quarter. From there Green started hitting 3-pointers, while the Morris twins simply out worked anyone the Nuggets had on the floor, as Ty Lawson turned the ball over five times, scoring 13 points on 3-of-11 from the field, and it didn’t look like the Nuggets were able to keep a cool and level head, despite being the more experienced team.
The Nuggets were 38-3 at home last season, but have now lost two in a row, falling to 7-5. They had a shot at tying the game with 5.9 seconds left, but Randy Foye missed an open 3-point shot, erasing their last chance of getting something from the game. Denver are still #8 in the West, but taking bad shots and playing less than intelligent basketball not for the first time cost them what should have been an easy win.
I’m not very happy, and I’ll take the hit for tonight’s game, for allowing some things in practice to carry over into the game. When it was going good for us in the first half, we were all smiles and played as if the game was over and didn’t have a second half to play.