Suns lose third straight, get embarrassed by Denver Nuggets

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The Phoenix Suns came out and got embarrassed for the second game in a row.  The Nuggets won the game 104-96.

T.J. Warren got the start tonight alongside Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, Jon Leuer, and Alex Len.  It appears that Jeff Hornacek is still tinkering with starting lineups and it may be a while until he finds one that he wants.  I would expect the starting lineup to be different next game.

The Nuggets got out to an early 22 point lead and looked to be in control from the start.  They are coming off a three game losing streak of their own and decided to take control early on.  The Suns looked fatigued and at times disinterested.  The Suns were able to get back into the game in the second half, and even took a small lead in the third quarter.  It was not enough as the Nuggets were able to reclaim the lead.

Denver’s Randy Foye got the start at point guard tonight.  This is unusual for him, but he made the most of it.  He had 31 points, two rebounds, and six assists in 40 minutes played.  He was able to own the Phoenix defense all night.

The Nuggets had only three players off the bench, but all three of them had great contributions.  Darrell Arthur had 19 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, a steal, and two blocks.  Nikola Jokic added 13 points and nine boards.  Will Barton had 17 points along with nine boards, five assists, and a steal.  The Nuggets played with passion and it was apparent.

The Suns had a hard time since they were playing from behind for most of the night.  The tone of the game was set early on by the Nuggets and the Suns seemed to just roll with it.

Which Suns Shone the Brightest?

1. Ronnie Price – Price had a career high 20 points tonight.  He was the only reason the the Suns were in the game at all.  He was 6-9 from three point land.  He’s proving that he is a solid option at back up point guard.  He gives the team a defensive boost and on nights like tonight he can put up points.  He also plays alongside Bledsoe and Knight when the Suns played small.

2. Jon Leuer – Leuer added 18 points and 10 rebounds.  Even though the Suns lost, I think it is important to note how great Leuer has been for the Suns.  He allows them to spread the floor a bit more and he plays with the passion that I feel many Phoenix players lack.

3. Brandon Knight – Knight had 21 points and 10 assists.  He distributed the ball very well and accounted for almost half of the Suns’ 21 total assists.  He played smart basketball.  This is something that the Suns desperately need.

Phoenix will move on to host the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, December 26 at 7:00 pm MST.  After seeing the Suns perform poorly in the past three games, I don’t expect this to be an easy win.  The Suns will have to earn it.

Mitch Krmpotich

Gonzaga University class of 2016. I'm a longtime college basketball writer and a big NBA fan. I'm also a die hard Broncos, Avalanche, Zags, and Suns fan.

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