George Karl and the Denver Nuggets each snapped a long losing streak to the Phoenix Suns. For George Karl, he had lost his last 16 games there. The Nuggets--12. But that all ended with an impressive 116-97 victory by the Nuggets tonight.
Ty Lawson had an impressive 20 points, 11 assists and four steals, but so many players contributed mightily in the win. Nene scored 22 points and pulled down seven boards. Wilson Chandler was the third starter to finish with double-digit points, 16 in all.
The Nuggets' bench also provided solid contributions. Chris Andersen and J.R. Smith each scored 12 points, while Timofey Mozgov and Kosta Koufos combined for 10 points in 10 minutes.
The Suns also had a strong effort from their bench, led by Marcin Gortat's 14 points and 18 rebounds, but the team only shot 41.1 percent from the field. The Nuggets, on the other hand, hit 51.7 percent of their shots.
The Nuggets (37-27, 11-20 away) host the Detroit Pistons on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. MT.
Their Saturday loss to the Los Angeles Clippers notwithstanding, the Denver Nuggets are playing some very good basketball and showcasing better defense. Of course, that's also happened since Carmelo Anthony departed for the bright lights of New York City. And completely related to the Carmelo Anthony trade, TNT decided to preempt this Nuggets-Suns game for a Knicks-Mavericks tilt.
In the seven games since 'Melo left for New York, the Nuggets have gone 5-2, including an impressive 89-75 victory over the Celtics. But tonight will be another tough test since the Nuggets haven't won in Phoenix for seven years. They dropped their other game there, 100-94, back in November.
But on the other hand, in Denver the Nuggets easily handled Phoenix, 132-98. The Nuggets and the Suns are the No. 1 and No. 4 teams in points per game, but also ranked in the 20s for points allowed. Denver will need more of that new-found defense to show up if they want to break their losing streak in Phoenix.
Tipoff is at 8:30 p.m. MT and Altitude will have coverage.