Suns use early lead to hold on to win over injured Nuggets

Mar 31, 2023, 9:51 PM | Updated: 11:05 pm

The Phoenix Suns held on to beat the Denver Nuggets 100-93 on Friday behind Kevin Durant’s 30 points.

The contest was Durant’s second home game in the Valley and washed away the poor shooting performance on Wednesday (5-for-18) by shooting 11-for-15 on Friday.

The Nuggets were without four key players including potential MVP Nikola Jokic, dynamic point guard Jamal Murray and sharpshooter Michael Porter Jr., and the team suffered because of it.

Phoenix jumped out to a 12-point lead at the end of the first quarter and 20 at the half. The Nuggets made a run in the third quarter, cutting the once 27-point lead to 10 points.

Denver cut the lead to four points with 2:13 remaining before Devin Booker hit a jumper to stop the bleeding.

Booker joined in with Durant on the scoring, adding 27 points, six assists and two rebounds. Deandre Ayton also added another consistent night with eight points, 10 rebounds and was a game-high plus-28 while on the court.

The Suns turned the ball over 16 times in the game but held the Nuggets to just eight points off turnovers.

With five games remaining in the season, Phoenix looks to lock home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The team next plays in Oklahoma City on Sunday.

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