Jamal Murray scorches with 46 on 9 3s as Nuggets hold off Suns

first_imgTIP-INSNuggets: F Paul Millsap returned to action after missing the past eight games with a broken right big toe. He played 14 minutes. “We’ll see at altitude, I think that’s going to be the big challenge,” Millsap said about getting back into game shape. … Beasley played through a sprained left ankle. … Five other Nuggets players were inactive, including G Will Barton (hip/core surgery) and G Gary Harris (right hip).Suns: Booker was assessed a flagrant foul in the third quarter when his hard contact on Craig sent Craig sprawling to the floor under the basket after a breakaway. … Booker has 25 or more points in eight straight games. … Bridges, a rookie, made a career high five 3s.UP NEXTNuggets: Host New York on Tuesday night.Suns: Host Golden State on Monday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Phoenix, the last-place team in the West, is 0-6 on the second night of back-to-backs this season and has lost four of its last five overall.Suns star Devin Booker bruised his lower back in the second quarter after he stepped in to draw a charge on the Nuggets’ Torrey Craig. Though announced as questionable for the second half, he returned and scored 27 points for the game, 20 in the second half.“We were worried if he could finish the game and be on the court,” Suns coach Igor Kokoskov said. “He was fighting through pain and he was leading the group when we needed him the most.”Murray started hot, knocking down his first three 3s and finishing the first quarter with 13 points. He had 15 in the fourth.Murray lobbed to Mason Plumlee for a dunk with 2:39 left in the first half, giving Denver a 57-37 lead.The Suns went on a 12-2 run to cut the lead to 59-49, but Juancho Hernangomez hit a 3 just before the halftime buzzer for Denver. The Nuggets made 11 3s in the first half.Denver led by as many as 23 in the third quarter, but Ayton’s hook with 19 seconds got the Suns within 90-78. Denver scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter, but the Suns stormed back to make it interesting at the end.EXCHANGE OF THOUGHTSAs the Suns rallied in the fourth quarter, a fan yelled from the stands at Kokoskov. “Hey Igor, we can make some free throws!” the fan shouted.Kokoskov looked at him, pointed and said, “You’re right!” The Suns made nine of 14 for the game. Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) drives against Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson (20) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)PHOENIX — There was no getting around the pain in his right ankle, so Jamal Murray figured out a way to deal with the injury.“I was trying not to move as much, kind of relied on my shot,” Murray said.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garciacenter_img No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom LATEST STORIES He’s rarely shot it better than he did Saturday night.Murray scored 46 points and made a career-high nine 3-pointers, carrying the Western Conference-leading Denver Nuggets to a 122-118 victory over the Phoenix Suns, the adrenaline from a big night helping him deal with the ankle.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissMurray was 16 for 24 from the field with the second-most points he’s scored in a game this season. He scored 31 a night earlier in a win over San Antonio.The Suns almost overcame a 22-point, fourth-quarter deficit, drawing to 113-110 on Mikal Bridges’ 3-pointer with 1:51 to play. T.J. Warren hit a 3 to cut the lead to 117-113 with 30 seconds remaining, but the Nuggets closed it out with free throws in the final seconds. View comments Kyrie Irving, Al Horford rally Celtics past Grizzlies Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Nikola Jokic added 23 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for Denver, while Malik Beasley came off the bench to hit a career-high five 3-pointers for his 15 points.“He’s my security blanket,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said of Jokic. “At the end of the game, when the ball goes to him I know something good is going to happen.”Rookie Deandre Ayton scored a season-high 33 points and added 14 rebounds for the Suns. Ayton made 12-of-13 shots in the second quarter for 24 points, the highest-scoring quarter by a Suns rookie and sixth-highest by any Sun in franchise history.“I don’t think I started off playing well,” Ayton said. “Coach took me out and I got my second wind and went out and forgot about the scoreboard and just played hard.”Denver improved to 4-1 in the second of back-to-back games this season. The Nuggets made a season-high 18 3s for the second straight night.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more