February 9, 2020 / 4:59 AM / 13 days ago

Murray, Jokic lead Nuggets to sweep of Suns

Jamal Murray scored 36 points, Nikola Jokic added 23 points, and the Denver Nuggets completed a season sweep of the Phoenix Suns, 117-108, Saturday at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Feb 8, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) warms up for the game against the Denver Nuggets at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Denver came into Saturday’s matchup off two days rest, last playing Wednesday in a win at Utah. However, Phoenix — playing the second leg of a back-to-back — surged ahead in the first quarter.

The Suns were coming off a blowout Friday night of the Houston Rockets, in which Kelly Oubre Jr. scored a career-high 39 points. He followed up with 20 points against Denver, and cooled off significantly from 3-point range.

Oubre shot 3-of-11 from beyond the arc after going 7-of-9 on Friday.

The back-to-back, coupled with the starters playing extended minutes, seemingly wore on Phoenix. Both Oubre and Deandre Ayton — who finished with 28 points and 19 rebounds — logged 42 minutes. Devin Booker, who scored 21 points but shot just 5-of-16 from the floor, played 37 minutes.

In contrast, no Nugget played more than Gary Harris’ 36 minutes.

The Suns came into Saturday’s contest with a bevy of injuries, including Dario Saric, Aron Baynes and Ty Jerome. Their situation was not unlike that of the Nuggets on Wednesday, when coach Mike Malone used just seven players.

Depth was not as dire for Denver on Saturday, with Paul Millsap back in the rotation. He registered a double-double off the bench with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Denver also got significant minutes from Monte Morris, who scored 11 points and dished five assists. Murray was the driving force for the Nuggets offensively, though.

He shot a blistering 14-of-17 from the floor, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range. Murray added five rebounds and five assists, as well.

Jokic, who registered just the third 30/20/10 triple-double since the NBA-ABA merger in Wednesday’s win, grabbed nine rebounds and doled out six assists Saturday.

With the win, Denver finishes the 2019-20 season a perfect 4-0 against the Suns. The Nuggets are winners of seven of their last nine, with two more to play ahead of next week’s All-Star break.

—Field Level Media

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