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Suns Strokes: Denver controlled the paint in win over Phoenix

Sure, you could read the box score and know who won, but we all know that won’t tell you everything that happened in a basketball game. So, we will give you Suns Strokes, providing you with the analysis, quotes and notes from the Suns’ 108-93 loss to the Nuggets on March 11.

The Good:

Another career night for Hamed Haddadi (“Marcin Who?”). After grabbing a career-high 11 rebounds against Houston Saturday, Haddadi scored a career-high 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting Monday night. He added eight rebounds and two blocks. Haddadi has played in just four games as a Sun but now has multiple blocks in a career-high tying three consecutive games. In 57 minutes played over his last three games, Haddadi now has 21 points, 23 rebounds and eight blocked shots.

Wesley Johnson recorded his fifth double-digit scoring game as a Sun, all since the All-Star break. In three games since moving to the starting lineup, Johnson now has two efforts of 18 or more points and is averaging 14 points in those opportunities.

The Bad:

The Suns allowed an opponent season-high 74 points in the paint to a team averaging a league-high 57.4 points in the paint. It marked the eighth time the Nuggets had scored 70-plus points in the paint this season. Denver is also the NBA’s top fastbreak team (19.8) and tonight scored 22. Also, the Nuggets average the league’s second-most points off opponent turnovers (19.5) and Monday finished with 28.

The Suns for the 19th time — seventh time since the coaching change — allowed an opponent to shoot better than 50-percent from the floor in 2012-13.

He Said It:

“Seventy-four points in the paint, that sums up the entire game,” interim head coach Lindsey Hunter said. “They dominated us driving the ball. They are a good team and we did a good job staying close but they just tightened the screws and pulled away from us.”


• Jared Dudley continued to wear a sleeve on his right arm (wore purple for the first time), after hurting his elbow against San Antonio

• Shannon Brown played for the first time since the All-Star break, ending a string of 10 straight DNP-Coach’s Decision.

• Former Sun Devils Terrell Suggs, Vontaze Burfict sat courtside (not together); it was Burfict’s second straight visit to US Airways Center.

Up Next:

The Suns (22-42) hit the road, playing three games in four days. The trip starts in Houston for a game against the Rockets on Wednesday, March 13.