DENVER — Gerald Green scored a career-high 36 points in just 29:45 as the Phoenix Suns defeated the Denver Nuggets 112-107 in overtime. The Suns completed the four-game season sweep against the Nuggets for the first time in almost a decade.
Green was in early foul trouble for the Suns (31-21), so he ended up doing most of his damage in the second half and overtime, where he scored 27 of his 36. Green also added five rebounds and shot 11-for-22 from the field, 6-for-14 from the 3-point line and 8-for-8 from the foul line.
Goran Dragic didn’t seem affected by the All-Star break and his responsibilities, as he scored 21 points with five rebounds, 14 assists (10 in the second half) and three steals. His shot was off (6-for-15) but he made up for it by getting to the foul line 12 times (making eight).
Markieff Morris played 41:31 off the bench, in large part due to the foul trouble from Miles Plumlee and Channing Frye. Morris scored 13 with 12 rebounds, two assists, three steals and a block, before fouling out himself.
The Nuggets (24-28) have now lost five straight and are fading away fast in the Western Conference. They were led by Evan Fournier‘s 25 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals off the bench. Kenneth Faried added 21 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and three steals.
Suns by the Numbers
- The 31 fouls called on the Suns set a season high, eclipsing the 30 that were called on them in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on January 8th.
- Denver pounded the Suns in points in the paint, 58-32.
- The Suns shot 37.6 percent, which was their lowest in a win since November 1st, 2013, when they shot 37.3 percent against the Utah Jazz.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — this team feeds off of Gerald Green’s energy. He’s not the best player on the team and he’s not the most outspoken, but for whatever reason, he’s the key. His 36 points and more specifically his timely buckets, were a huge reason the Suns were able to keep this one close in the second half. Could he win the Most Improved Player award? Probably not, but he deserves some acknowledgement.
Miles Plumlee was awful and has really been struggling as of late. Over his last eight games, he’s averaging 5.9 points and 7.1 rebounds with a total of seven steals and five blocks. He’s shooting just 44.7 percent from the field in that time and has no double-doubles. He’s only scored in double-digits once during that stretch. If the Suns make a move at the trade deadline, let’s hope it involves getting some help in the paint.
The Suns head home to host the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, February 19 from US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.