Afflalo Leads Nuggets To Big Win Over Suns
DENVER (AP) — Arron Afflalo had 30 points, Andre Miller scored 13 of his 15 in the fourth quarter and Denver Nuggets scored the final nine points to beat the Phoenix Suns 105-99 on Friday night.
Shannon Brown scored 18 points and Steve Nash had 14 points and 11 assists for the Suns, who had their three-game win streak snapped.
Al Harrington scored 23 points to help the Nuggets take sole possession of seventh place in the Western Conference, a half-game ahead of idle Houston and 1 1/2 in front of Utah. The Suns dropped to 10th place, a half-game behind the Jazz.
The win also gave Denver the tiebreaker against the Suns, as the Nuggets have won the teams’ first two meetings — including a 109-92 victory on Feb. 14. They play again April 24 in Phoenix.
Nash didn’t play in the previous matchup, and his presence Friday made this game more competitive. He hit a 3-pointer to put the Suns ahead 97-92 with 5:08 left, but Denver rallied to win again.
Miller fed rookie Kenneth Faried on a long alley-oop to start the comeback. Miller then scored on two layups and hit two free throws to give the Nuggets a 100-99 lead.
After Phoenix didn’t score, Miller drove the lane and found Afflalo in the corner and he made his fifth 3-pointer of the game to give Denver a four-point lead with 48 seconds left.
Afflalo finished 11 for 19 from the field after missing his first four shots.
The Nuggets went on a 16-6 run to start the second half and take a 68-58 lead. The Suns rallied to go ahead 75-73 on two free throws by Nash. Harrington scored the last five points of the period to give Denver a 78-75 lead, and his two 3s early in the fourth pushed the lead to 86-79.
Phoenix answered with a 13-1 run to lead 92-87 midway through the fourth.
The teams traded early runs in the first half. Phoenix led by as many as eight before the Nuggets responded.
With Denver trailing 35-29 early in the second quarter, Harrington scored 10 of his 12 first-half points and Afflalo hit a 3 to key an 18-4 run to give the Nuggets an eight-point lead.
The Suns came right back with an 11-1 run to take a 50-48 lead late in the half. Jordan Hamilton’s jumper tied the score at 52-all at halftime.
NOTES: Hamilton became the 16th player to start for the Nuggets this season. … Nuggets F Wilson Chandler (groin) missed his third straight game. He had an MRI earlier Friday to determine the severity of the injury. … Suns G Michael Redd scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter.
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