NBA regular season

Durant dominates in Denver: Suns turn back Nuggets again


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Durant dominates in Denver: Suns turn back Nuggets again

SLIM REAPER. Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena.

Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Kevin Durant shines on both ends as the Suns deal the Nuggets just their third loss in 18 games, with two of those defeats coming against visiting Phoenix

Kevin Durant had 30 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots, Devin Booker had 17 points and 9 assists in his first game against Denver his season, and the visiting Phoenix Suns beat the Nuggets, 104-97, on Wednesday, March 27 (Thursday, March 28, Manila time).

Grayson Allen scored 13 points and Bradley Beal and Eric Gordon finished with 10 each for Phoenix (43-30).

Nikola Jokic had 22 points, 10 assists, and 9 rebounds for Denver (51-22), which lost for just the third time in 18 games. Two of those losses have been to the visiting Suns.

Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. scored 18 points each, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 13 points, and Reggie Jackson finished with 11 points for the Nuggets, who were without guard Jamal Murray (right knee inflammation) for the third straight game.

Phoenix center Jusuf Nurkic was out with an ankle injury sustained in the Suns’ loss at San Antonio on Monday.

Phoenix led by 7 points at halftime and the teams traded extended runs in the third quarter.

The Suns outscored Denver 10-0 to go ahead 71-56 on Booker’s two free throws with 9:14 left in the period. The Nuggets responded with 12 straight points, 10 by Jokic, to make it 71-68, but Phoenix answered with another 10-0 run to push the lead back to double digits.

Denver cut the deficit to 83-73 heading into the fourth.

The Suns opened the final 12 minutes with two quick buckets to lead by 14, but Peyton Watson’s tip got the Nuggets back within 8 with just over seven minutes left. Royce O’Neale, Allen, and Durant hit 3-pointers to give Phoenix a 98-83 lead.

Denver got within 7 in the final minute but couldn’t get closer.

Durant had 14 points and 7 rebounds in the first half when the Suns led by as many as 11. The Nuggets cut the deficit to 2 points on Porter’s three-pointer with 1:33 left in the second, but Phoenix finished the half strong to take a 59-52 lead into intermission. –

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