Denver Nuggets at Phoenix Suns game thread

Andrew

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The Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets have been two of the NBA's highest-scoring teams over the last several years, but both clubs have rededicated themselves to defense this season.
Based on recent results, the defensive development of each team is still a work in progress.
The Suns and Nuggets look to bounce back from disappointing defensive efforts as they square off Saturday night in Phoenix, where Denver hasn't won in more than three years.
Phoenix has ranked in the league's top three in scoring in each of the last four seasons, finishing first three times in that stretch thanks to a fast-paced offense that often left the team vulnerable defensively.
General manager Steve Kerr has made major changes over the last year to help the Suns strike a better balance, including the trade for Shaquille O'Neal last February and the offseason hiring of coach Terry Porter to replace Mike D'Antoni.
The results, however, have so far been disappointing. The Suns (15-11) have given up at least 100 points in 11 straight games, and are allowing 103.0 points per game to rank near the bottom of the league in scoring defense.
They delivered a strong offensive showing against Portland in their last game Thursday night, shooting 56.9 percent from the field and making 12 of their 18 3-point attempts. But they couldn't stop Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy, who scored a career-high 52 points as Portland beat Phoenix 124-119.
"We gave another game away," O'Neal said. "We're not getting loose balls, and you can't have 16 turnovers. And you've got to stop somebody. You can't let a guy go for 52. It was not acceptable."
Like Phoenix, Denver has earned a reputation as a dominant offensive team, ranking in the top five in scoring in each of the last three seasons, including second in 2007-08.
This year's Nuggets (17-9) came into the season determined to fare better on the other end, a focus they emphasized with the trade of Allen Iverson for Chauncey Billups in early November.
The Nuggets' transition has so far been smoother than the Suns'. They're in the middle of the pack in scoring defense, holding opponents to 98.4 points per game.
But Denver's defense has slipped in back-to-back losses. The Nuggets allowed Houston to shoot 55.3 percent in their 108-96 loss Tuesday before giving up 37 first-quarter points in a 105-88 loss to Cleveland on Friday night.
Denver center Nene had a tough time in both contests while matched up against Yao Ming and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, but Nuggets coach George Karl isn't overly concerned with his club's recent struggles.
"There's no question that we need more out of Nene, and we need more out of everybody," Karl said. "But I don't think the game is bad enough to get depressed. I mean, we're in a good place. You always stub your toe. You always fall down. It's early in the season. Nothing is written in stone."
The Nuggets have done a lot of falling down in Phoenix, where they've dropped seven straight games since the beginning of the 2004-05 season. Denver won its two home games against Phoenix last season, but gave up 134.5 points per game in its two losses at US Airways Center. All-Star Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony averaged 27.5 points while shooting 56.3 percent (18-for-32) in the two home wins, but was held to 19.0 points per game and 41.0 percent shooting (16-for-39) in the road losses.

http://www.nba.com/games/20081220/DENPHX/preview.html
 

mjb21aztd

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Should be a fun game to watch hopefully the suns win this one. I expect this one to be real high scoring as usual lets go Richardson :)

Suns 108

Nuggets 105

Leading scorer Amare 32 pts 8 boards
 

Ronin

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I would like nothing more than a win tonight, but I don' see it happening.:(
Nuggets 120
Suns 109
 

SunsStatFan

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I's a newcomer

I hope suns win tonight, nash is terrible last game, I hope he would be better tonight.
 

arwillan

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could you at least properly quote the game info and put all the important parts in bold?

nuggets got their butts kicked last night by cleveland so they may be a little tired out.

suns 120

nuggets 112
 

Proteus

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Suns down 19-23 with 3:12 left in the 1st quarter despite shooting 69%. :rolleyes: It's getting pretty annoying to be trailing despite a very high field goal %.
 

cly2tw

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Nugs got a lot of fast break pts. we just need to settle down a little better.
 

Proteus

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Suns up 29-28 after the 1st quarter. Suns shooting 65% with 2/5 3 pointers, Nuggets 48% with 3/5 3 pointers.

Suns and Nuggets are tied at 4 turnovers.

Suns have 1 offensive rebound, Nuggets 3.
 

cly2tw

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I just don't understand why we play so much zone. With Shaq and Nash off the court, our defense was aggressive and capable. But then Melo got wide open 3, after Barnes ran to the wrong side.

Amare is really good at getting the ball to runners. His passing could still improve but it's very reliable for now
 

cly2tw

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One 3pt by Smithand Kleiza each later, we went back to man defense. Let's work on the basics first, coach!
 

mjb21aztd

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sigh another team that is going to score 100 plus on us..... lets hope we still this game in the 2nd half not looking good so far
 

arwillan

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the defense on smith hasn't even been bad, he's just on fire and not afraid to shoot from anywhere
 

mjb21aztd

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just like roy was on fire last night this not better become a reg thing
 

cly2tw

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With so much zone, someone on the other team is always bound to get hot shooting, and yet we go back to it again to get burned. that's just stupid! let's put up some good man defense with hard fouls and go from there pleas!
 
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