It’s no secret that the Phoenix Suns have struggled in the absence of injured guard Eric Bledsoe.
Loser of six of its last nine entering Sunday’s game against the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix found itself in its worst rut of the season. And with Bledsoe’s loss combined with a shoulder injury that kept Leandro Barbosa out of two games, things weren’t looking up for the Suns.
But Barbosa returned Sunday, Channing Frye scored a season-high 30 points, and Phoenix ran past Denver 117-103 for a much-needed easy win in front of 16,211 at U.S. Airways Center.
Here’s a look back at the Suns’ victory by the numbers:
The Suns trailed for exactly 0 seconds on Sunday, after starting the game on an 8-0 run. Denver eventually tied the game at 19, but Phoenix steadily pulled away from there.
The Suns improved to 3-0 against the Nuggets this season, and have a chance to sweep the season series when they meet in Denver on Feb. 18.
Barbosa scored 13 points in his return from a shoulder injury on 6-of-13 shooting from the field.
Rookie center Alex Len played 16 minutes in the best performance of his young career, scoring nine points and grabbing six rebounds.
Frye’s 30 points were a season high, and just three short of his career high. He shot 12 of 16 from the field and 5 of 7 from 3-point range.
It took Phoenix 68 games to reach the 23-win mark last season, when it won just 25 games. Sunday’s win over Denver marked the Suns’ 23rd win of the season in their 40th game — almost two months earlier than last season.