Kevin Durant dropped 30 points and Devin Booker added 27 as the host Phoenix Suns extended their winning streak to four games with a 100-93 win over the shorthanded Denver Nuggets on Friday night, March 31 (Saturday, April 1, Manila time).
Josh Okogie scored 14 points and Deandre Ayton had 10 rebounds for Phoenix (42-35), which led by as many as 27 midway through the third quarter before Denver began its comeback. Chris Paul had a game-high 13 assists.
Aaron Gordon led Denver (51-26) with 26 points and added 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Bruce Brown scored 16 points, Reggie Jackson added 13, and Christian Braun chipped in 11.
The Nuggets played without four injured starters: Nikola Jokic (right calf tightness), Jamal Murray (left knee injury management), Michael Porter Jr. (left heel injury management) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (non-COVID illness).
The Nuggets rallied to pull within five points early in the fourth quarter and trailed 95-91 after Gordon scored with 3:24 left. The teams exchanged baskets before Okogie hit one of his four three-pointers with 45.8 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
Phoenix appeared firmly in control from the outset and led 32-20 after closing the first quarter on a 12-3 run. Durant and Booker combined for 21 points in the period.
The Suns held a 60-40 advantage at the half after shooting 50% from the field. Durant scored 19 points in the half while Booker added 18.
Jackson had 13 points in the first half to lead Denver, which shot 37% from the field and 1-of-11 (9.1%) from three-point range in the half.
Durant, who made his Suns home debut in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, scored with just over eight minutes left in the third quarter to give Phoenix a commanding 72-45 lead.
Denver battled back and closed the third quarter on a 29-12 run to cut the deficit to 84-74. Zeke Nnaji scored with just under 10 minutes remaining in the contest to make it a five-point game.
DeAndre Jordan had a game-high 12 rebounds for Denver, which shot 6-of-26 (23.1%) from three-point range and has lost two straight following a four-game winning streak.
Phoenix improved to 26-12 at home and recorded its first win over Denver this season after dropping the first two meetings. – Rappler.com
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