Nuggets

Afflalo Leads Nuggets To Big Win Over Suns

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The Denver Nuggets stand for the National Anthem prior to the game against the Phoenix Suns on April 6, 2012 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Denver Nuggets stand for the National Anthem prior to the game against the Phoenix Suns on April 6, 2012 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

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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.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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