On a night where the Nuggets were playing without their starting point guard Emmanuel Mudiay (lower back pain) and their undisputed best player Nikola Jokic (left hip strain), many questioned if the team would regress or continue playing at a high level, as they’ve won four of their last five games.

Danilo Gallinari silenced all critics, as he put together one of his best games of the year, despite Suns guard Eric Bledsoe doing everything possible to deliver his team a victory. Gallinari had a season high in points scoring 32 with eight rebounds to help give the Nuggets a 123-112 win over the Phoenix Suns.

Jameer Nelson continued to play well in the absence of starter Mudiay, posting 17 points, six assists and three rebounds. Rookie sensation Jamal Murray also had it going, as he scored 18 points off of the bench. Kenneth Faried added 21 points and 13 rebounds.

Bledsoe had 41 points, eight assist and six rebounds. Devin Booker had 23 points and Tyson Chandler a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds. Other than that, Phoenix couldn’t find much help.

“We have to start getting to other positions, other spots” said Suns Head Coach Earl Watson. “We have to start maximizing all that we can do.”

Since beating the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 22, the Suns have now lost three in a row. This was their second consecutive loss to the Nuggets.

“It starts on the defensive end” said Devin Booker. “We’ve allowed them to get 120 points every time we’ve played them, so we have to lock in and play some defense.”

The first half all the momentum was on the side of the Phoenix Suns, as they could just not miss. Somehow, they were only up two at halftime.

The second half was a different story, as Denver made their move. The third quarter proved to be the turning point. Free throws were a huge advantage, as the Nuggets got in the bonus early, and made it rather difficult for the Suns to do much of anything.

“Getting to the foul line is something we try to do every single night,” said head coach Michael Malone. “Obviously, getting to the bonus so early, you have to take advantage of it.”

Denver was aggressive on the offensive end as they went 88% from the foul line going 37/42. Denver went on an 18-2 run and never looked back, as at one point, they led by as much as 19.


  • Eric Bledsoe set a career high in points. with 41.
  • The Nuggets scored 120+ points in all four meetings this year.
  • Saturday night’s win over the Suns was the Nuggets first sweep over them since the 2011-2012 season.
  • Gary Harris recorded eight rebounds in the game, a new career high.
  • After getting MRI on Friday which revealed a left hip flexor strain, Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic is listed as day-to-day.

Up Next:

Denver goes on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. Lakers will be undermanned, as Laker forward Julius Randle (pneumonia) has been ruled out.