PHOENIX (AP) – The Phoenix Suns racked up 48 points in the first quarter alone with a series of 3-pointers, dunks and mid-range jumpers burying the Denver Nuggets.
Cam Johnson admits it’s pretty impressive. He still believes that the Sun can do better.
“I think we could be 50 years old,” Johnson said.
Expectations are high for the Sun these days, the team easily achieved their 12th win in a row by beating the short-handled Nuggets 126-97 on Sunday night.
Johnson scored a career-high 22 points and Deandre Ayton added 21. The quick-start Suns were able to miss several starts for most of the second half, including veteran keeper Chris Paul, who finished with 9 points and 10 assists.
Phoenix shot 17 of 22 (77.3%) from the field in its first quarter inning, going 7 of 8 from the 3-point range.
“Everything works,” Booker said.
Johnson, Devin Booker and Jae Crowder all hit two pointers in the early hours. The Suns have yet to lose since October 27 to Sacramento when Harrison Barnes hit a 3-pointer at the whistle. This is the franchise’s longest winning streak since winning 17 in a row in the 2006-07 season.
“The way we moved the ball in the first half – shot and passed and realized what they were doing in their box – was good to see,” said Suns coach Monty Williams.
Denver’s star forward Nikola Jokic missed the game for the second straight time with a sprained right wrist. The Nuggets lost four games in a row to drop to 9-8.
“They’re just taking shots,” said Nuggets forward JaMychal Green. “It’s like a blur out there. I feel like everything we threw at them didn’t work out.”
Denver is one of the few teams to have beaten the Suns this season – winning 110-98 – but that’s when the Nuggets had Jokic and healthy Michael Porter Jr (low back).
This was much different. The Nuggets became even more marginalized late in the third quarter when Aaron Gordon was sent off after two quick techniques for arguing with an official after he was called up for an offensive foul. Jeff Green leads the Nuggets with 19 points. Gordon has 16.
The Suns took a 100-78 lead in the fourth inning.
Denver rebounded from the first quarter’s failure to cut Phoenix’s advantage to 73-60 after halftime and cut the deficit to nine points briefly in the third quarter. But the Sun hastened to rebuild their lead.
“When you drop 48 games in the first quarter and you drop 20, at most 30 at a time, you spend a lot of energy trying to get back into the game,” said Denver coach Michael Malone. “It’s great to see our boys keep fighting, playing and not just rolling around but you can’t allow a team to come out and play like that in the first half.”
GOOD AGAINST GOOD
The Suns have a 6-0 record against teams over .500 this season. Overall, they are 13-3.
Nuggets: Jokic was listed as probable on the injury report but still did not compete. … The Nuggets are also missing F Zeke Nnaji (sprained right ankle). G Bones Hyland appeared to have injured his ankle in the first round. He tried to overcome the pain to possess but eventually had to leave the game.
Suns: F/C Frank Kaminsky has missed his third game in a row and the team announced he is out indefinitely with a stress reaction in his right knee. Kaminsky is averaging 10.6 points and 4.6 rebounds and scoring 31 career points this season. … F Abdel Nader (right knee injury) also did not play. … 48 points is the second most in franchise history in the first quarter. They scored 50 goals against the Nuggets in the first quarter in a game in 1990.… Cam Payne and JaVale McGee both added 10 points from the bench.
https://kdvr.com/sports/denver-nuggets/suns-win-12th-straight-with-ease-roll-past-nuggets-126-97/ DENVER NUGGETS: Suns take 12th straight win with ease, overtaking Nuggets 126-97