EditorsNote: Minor editing for clarification
Kelly Oubre Jr. and Richaun Holmes combined for 40 points off the bench Saturday night as the Phoenix Suns’ reserves dominated their Denver Nuggets counterparts in a 102-93 home win over the Western Conference’s top team.
The Suns, who have the worst record in the West at 11-33, used a 10-0 flurry late in the first quarter to take a lead they never relinquished en route to their first win over the Nuggets in three tries this season.
Nikola Jokic had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Denver, which at 28-13 retained a half-game lead over Golden State atop the West.
Holmes had a hoop and two free throws, while fellow reserves Oubre and Troy Daniels hit 3-pointers in the early run that put Phoenix in charge after the game had been tied at 20-all.
Phoenix, which had lost seven of its previous eight games, went on to lead by as many as 16 in the second quarter and 18 in the third before Denver rallied in the fourth.
A 3-pointer by Jamal Murray with 4:24 to go pushed the Nuggets to within 93-86, but Holmes countered with a hoop and the Suns were able to hold on down the stretch.
Oubre finished with a game-high 26 points to go with 11 rebounds for the Suns, who won their second straight home game.
Rookie center Deandre Ayton played Jokic even with 22 points and a team-high 13 rebounds, while Josh Jackson added 15 points and Holmes 14 for Phoenix.
De’Anthony Melton had a game-high 10 assists for the Suns.
Led by Oubre and Holmes, the Phoenix bench enjoyed a 49-25 scoring advantage over Denver’s reserves.
Paul Millsap also added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets.
Malik Beasley had 21 points, Murray 12 points and nine rebounds, and Monte Morris 12 points for the Nuggets, who lost for just the second time in their last nine games.
The Suns outshot the Nuggets 41.3 percent to 38.6.
—Field Level Media