Devin Booker and Jamal Murray went at it all night, but the Suns rose to the occasion and beat the Nuggets 108-100.
Devin Booker is one of the best scorers in the NBA and showcased his talent Friday night at Pepsi Center. Booker scored 30 points on 11-23 from the field, and also chipped in five rebounds and five assists. The Nuggets had issues stopping Booker all night and it certainly didn’t help that he was making every shot whether it was contested or not. The Kentucky alum even had a little fun at Jamal Murray’s expense, as he mocked Murray’s blue-arrow celebration after a couple first half three-pointers.
— Luka Wobčić (@World_Wide_Wob) January 20, 2018
Murray fought back though and had a big night in his first game back from a concussion. Murray went for 30 points on 10-17 from the field, 5-8 from behind the three-point line. The highlight of Murray’s night were these huge dunks he converted in the third quarter over Suns center Tyson Chandler, and Booker.
TYSON CHANDLER DOES NOT WANT THIS FROM JAMAL MURRAY pic.twitter.com/vMayXAZIc6
— Michael Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher) January 20, 2018
2) Jamal Murray SLAMS it home and flexes on Devin Booker 💪 pic.twitter.com/iuV61KvGJh
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) January 20, 2018
Those two highlights were sadly the only one’s from the Nuggets tonight as they dropped another tough game and now fall to .500 with a record of 23-23. The Nuggets now sit at ninth in the West and sit a full game back of the Los Angeles Clippers for eighth in the West. Bench points were the big difference tonight as the Suns bench outscored the Nuggets 44-23. Isaiah Cannon played great off the bench for the Suns scoring 16 points on 6-12 from the field, 4-6 from behind the three-point line. Rookie Josh Jackson also played well off the bench scoring 16 points on 6-9 from the field.
Both teams made 14 three-pointers, but the Nuggets offense never really seemed to be in rhythm except for Jamal Murray. The Nuggets switched up the starting line-up inserting Trey Lyles for Mason Plumlee, and it seemed to be working well out of the gate. The Nuggets started the game on an 8-0 run, but once the bench came in is when the Suns stormed back to take the lead. Near the beginning of the second quarter, the Suns bench was outscoring the Nuggets 19-5, and the Suns also started the second on a 10-0 run. The Nuggets were never able to climb out of the hole they created and the Suns controlled the game after the second quarter.
Gary Harris scored 16 points, but had a bit of an off night offensively shooting just 6-16 from the field. Harris was still able to force three steals, even after twisting his ankle in the third quarter. Harris stayed in the ball game, but you could tell it was affecting him on the defensive end of the court near the end of the game. Nikola Jokic had a bit of an up and down game scoring 14 points and hauling in 17 rebounds, but also had a game high six turnovers. Jokic also had foul trouble for most of the night and committed a technical foul late in the fourth after arguing with an official. It was the Nuggets second tech of the night, as Murray received one early in the game for the same offense.
The Nuggets are now off till Monday night when they’ll welcome the Portland Trailblazers to town. Lets hope these two off days do the Nuggets some good and they come into Monday’s game energized and ready to perform against a playoff opponent.