Denver guard Gary Harris tied his career with 36 points, and Wilson Chandler scored 17 points in the hot-shooting Nuggets’ 134-111 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Reserve forward Trey Lyles had 16 points, and Nikola Jokic had 14 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets (20-17). Denver shot 62.2 percent from the field, including 12 of 27 (44.4 percent) on 3-point attempts.
Devin Booker had 17 points and Marquese Chriss had 16 points for the Suns, whose flight did not land in Denver until about 2 p.m. Wednesday because of mechanical issues and regulations regarding pilot flying time.
Phoenix reserve center Greg Monroe, who had not played in the previous five games, had 16 points, 10 rebounds and four assists while starting in place of Tyson Chandler, continuing a recent trend in which Chandler does not play on consecutive days.
Jokic, who is averaging a double-double, also leads the team in assists. His behind-the-back pass led to Malik Beasley’s breakaway dunk late in the third quarter, when the game turned. Denver outscored Phoenix 37-18 in the third.
The Nuggets made 14 of 21 shots from the field in the decisive quarter while the Suns (15-25) were 5 of 28 in the third.
Denver had a 48-35 rebounding edge and nine blocked shots, five by center Mason Plumlee.
Harris, who made his first eight field-goal attempts, finished 14 of 17 from the field, 3 of 5 from 3-point range. Harris had his only other career 30-point game when he scored 36 against the Boston Celtics on Dec. 13.
Chandler had three 3-pointers and Lyles made two.
Harris scored 20 points in the first 10 1/2 minutes of the first quarter, making 9 of 10 shots while being guarded primarily by Booker. The Nuggets led 34-26 after one quarter.
Phoenix used a 41-point second quarter to take a 67-61 lead. Denver finished the third quarter on a 19-8 run for a 98-85 lead.
--Field Level Media