Tonight, the Suns took on the Denver Nuggets in their second preseason game. Would they be able to win their second game in a row and stay undefeated early?
The Suns were looking to show more energy and focus tonight after a sloppy win against the Flamengo international team last Wednesday
The Phoenix Suns looking much more energetic to start this game than they were against Flamengo. Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek mentioned that would be a point of emphasis in the pre-game press conference, and they are delivering.
On the next possession, Dragic goes coast to coast on a fast break and takes it to the hoop. Goran also looking much sharper tonight thus far.
Dragic answers back with a 13-foot jumper...He is 3-3 to start the game and already has 6 points.
Darrell Arthur gets a bucket on the other end against Tolliver.
Miles Plumlee took off from what looked to be close to the free throw line, but missed on the dunk due to being fouled...It would have been a monster! He did hit both free throws though, so it was a win for Miles there either way.
Wilson Chandler gets inside to score despite very good defense from Plum.
Dragic misses a jumper that he pulls up to shoot and banks off the glass...his first miss so far.
It feels like the Suns are up big already but Denver keeps answering back. 13-12 halfway through the first.
Two sloppy possessions in a row for the Suns who throw the ball away on each...preseason.
Phoenix calls a time out, and the Suns start out with an aggressive drive to the hoop by Eric Bledsoe who misses at the rim, but Plumlee is there for the tip-in.
Wilson Chandler hits a three for the Nuggets.
Tolliver nails another corner three pointer. His second. On the next possession, Tolliver gets to the rim off of a fast-break pass, but gets fouled and only hits one of two at the line.
Plumlee with great help defense to create a turnover which leads to a fast break and a foul on Bledsoe. Eric hits one of two free throws.
Bledsoe sprints down court to block the shot from behind on the next possession, but Jusuf Nurkic scores off the inbound jumper.
Goran scores on a pull-up jumper on one possession, then Bledsoe pulls up from the same spot on the next possession and shoots an air ball...preseason.
Markieff bricks a jumper on offense then allows Gallinari to shoot uncontested while he still had his hands down in front of him. I'm sure Hornacek will remind him that Danillo is a pretty good shooter when he gets back to the bench. Not a great start for Keef.
Gerald Green gets things going quickly with a three to start him off. Isaiah Thomas also gets in on the action with a beautiful floater on a drive to the rim.
The starting unit (for this game at least) played with energy and hustle, but a few too many sloppy plays were enough to keep the Nuggets in it...even though it seemed like the Suns were the far superior team on the floor. We'll see if Denver can keep up with them for an entire game though.
At the end of the first quarter, the Suns are tied with the Nuggets 29-29. Goran Dragic is the leading scorer for the Suns with 8 points. Gallinari is the leading scorer on the Nuggets with 9 points.
The same second unit stays in to start the second quarter. Gerald Green gets free for another one of his highlight reel dunks. I seriously don't remember the last game he didn't at least have one.
Green attacks the rim again but misses the difficult lay-up because of a foul. He gets to the line and hits both. Say what you will about Green's defense, but the guy has become a scoring machine and brings it every night.
Thomas scores on a nice euro-step drive to the hoop. He's so skilled and so fun to watch...he's going to be another fan favorite for sure this season.
Randolph fouls Randy Foye on what looked to be pretty good defense driving to the hoop. He only hits one of two.
Marcus gets inside for what looked like an easy dunk or lay-up, but Nurkic recovers and makes a great block and the Nuggets recover.
Joey Crawford nails Keef with a technical for complaining about something. It may be preseason, but Crawford is obviously already in mid-season form.
Keef misses a three this time...he still has yet to score.
Gerald Green on the other hand has no trouble scoring as he hits a pull-up jumper.
Randolph draws the charge on the other end on Jerrelle Benimon.
Green goes to work backing down Gary Harris on what would have been a great turn around jumper, but Crawford blows the whistle on Harris for the foul as the shot goes up and in...Thanks but no thanks Joey.
Keef gets fouled and finally gets on the board by hitting both free throws.
Earl Barron checks in to replace Shavlik Randolph with 7 minutes left in the half. Archie Goodwin then checks in for Markieff Morris who just doesn't have it tonight. Suns up 41-32 halfway through the quarter.
Earl Barron gets on the board with a nice tip in on a miss by Green. The Suns are really starting to pull away now.
Highlight of the game happens as Isaiah Thomas finds a cutting Archie Goodwin running baseline and throws a beautiful no-look pass that Archie slams home on the reverse dunk. That was awesome!
The Suns already look like they are starting to have fun on the court together...even the new additions. This is great news for the team as they are a group who feeds on energy and great chemistry.
T.J. Warren now replaces Gerald Green who had a great start.
Earl Barron with the two-handed slam off a nice pass from Isaiah...preseason.
Denver calls time out and Tyler Ennis makes his way onto the court replacing Isaiah Thomas who has had an awesome game thus far.
Marcus has also been struggling to make his baskets tonight as well. He has hit at least a couple to score 5 points at least, but both of the Morrii having an off night. Twin-synergy...for better or worse, it seems.
Danilo Gallinari scores another basket off a beautiful up and under play at the rim. He has been the most impressive player for the Nuggets so far tonight.
Mozgov goes to work inside on Earl Barron who simply can't match his size. He now has 8 points in the game.
Although the Suns second and third string played the entire second quarter, they were the most aggressive overall and were able to put the most distance between themselves and the opponent, leading by as much as 11.
This will be a major strength of the Suns this season...little to no drop off in performance or efficiency when resting starters. The quality of depth on the team is amazing and should be their biggest positive as the season goes on.
At the end of the first half, the Suns lead the Nuggets 52-46. Gerald Green is the leading scorer for the Suns with 11 points. Danilo Gallinari is the leading scorer on the Nuggets with 17 points.
The same starting unit is in to start the third quarter. Plumlee misses a hook shot on their first possession...but it had more lift and looked like it was going to go at least.
P.J. Tucker trying to make a post up play gets fouled hard by Wilson Chandler, and hits the floor. it sounds like a sack of bricks dropped on the court....just Tucker.
Suns missed another shot as a Tolliver three rims out...0-2 to start the second half.
P.J. Tucker finally gets the Suns on the board with a three point shot. I'll bet you'll never guess where he shot it (the corner, of course).
Ty Lawson gets inside for a bucket, and Dragic answers back with an ever better drive inside with a great finish to score at the other end.
Mozgov still scoring on the Suns bigs at will...He now has 10 in the game. Not only that, he blocked what looked like a sure dunk by Miles at the other end, pinning the ball against the rim. He's been a challenge for the Suns.
Tucker stepped out of bounds on a jump shot from three and then stared angrily at the floor like it was the court's fault...Just P.J. things.
Bledsoe makes up for it on the next play though with a great drive to the basket for an easy lay-up. Bledsoe is looking incredibly fast and athletic. Oh, and he's pretty darn strong too.
Suns starters holding serve thus far and preserving the lead created by the second unit.
Tucker hits another three...guess where?
So, this Tolliver guy can shoot, huh? Anthony hits another three and now the Suns first unit is beginning to pull away by even more.
Shavlik Randolph checks into the game for Miles Plumlee about midway through the quarter.
Alanzo Gee hits a three point shot after two consecutive Suns misses on their possessions. Hornacek calls time out to try to preserve the 71-58 lead before it dissipates.
Zoran Dragic making his first appearance of the game now for P.J. Tucker. Isaiah Thomas checks in for Bledsoe. Goran and Zoran both on the floor together now...Slovenia in the house!
Zoran makes an aggressive move to the basket but can't finish the lay-up...the crowd was ready to erupt if it went in.
Markieff checks in for Tolliver and hits a pull-up jumper to start off...maybe that will help him get going.
Mozgov makes an excellent shot while hanging in the air to score inside...He has been impressive.
Keef hits a three! That's two shots in a row now.
Marcus Morris now checks in to replace Goran Dragic.
Shavlik drives to the basket to draw the foul. However, he misses both free throws...Odd for a guy who seems to be shooting so well from outside lately. Randolph still looking for his first points of the game.
Randolph then misses a jump shot...there goes that theory.
At the end of the third quarter, the Suns lead the Nuggets 80-64 . Goran Dragic is the leading scorer for the Suns with 12 points. Danilo Gallinari is the leading scorer on the Nuggets with 17 points.
The Suns lineup to start the fourth quarter is Thomas, Zoran, the Morrii, and Barron. Thomas gets to the rim but can't convert on the first possession.
Jusuf Nurkic scores for the Nuggets, but Keef answers back with a three at the other end. Whatever it was earler, Keef seems to have shaken it off now and is playing much better in the second half.
Thpomas is blocked leading to a fast break at the other end and an uncontested score for Alonzo Gee.
Earl Barron drew his second charge against the Nuggetrs in the fourth quarter. Heads up playing by Earl on defense.
Denver calls a time out.
T.J. Warren now getting some more minutes, replacing Zoran Dragic.
Archie Goodwin checks back in, and Jamil Wilson gets his first minutes tonight as well.
T.J. Warren gets on the board knocking down a three and showing his range.
Marcus WIlliams answers back for the Nuggets.
Warren gets to the rim and scores once again on consecutive possessions.
Gary Harris scores a three for the Nuggets.
Denver still looking to make a push here...the Suns have to be careful.
Ok, scratch that, it's officially T.J. Warren time as the rookie answers back with another three...that isn't even his strength, but he's showing he flat out knows how to get the ball in the basket, and knows hot to take over a game. He now has 8 points all in the last few minutes of play in the fourth quarter.
Time out Denver.
Tyler Ennis now in at the point. It's now an all rookie or try-out (plus Archie) line-up to seemingly close out the game with 5 minutes remaining and the Nuggets still in striking distance.
Ennis tries to get creative but slips on a spin move while driving inside and loses the ball out of bounds...preseason.
Archie Goodwin doing what he does best now, attacking the basket and drawing the foul. However, he misses both free throws.
Marcus Williams hits a three to cut the Suns lead to 10 with two minutes remaining in the game.
Warren cleans up an Ennis miss for a basket inside. He now has 10 points.
Nurkic answers back at the other end. He now has 8 points to go along with 12 rebounds. A solid performance for the Nuggets big man.
Warren misses a three, but he seems to have done enough to ensure the Suns victory.
Ennis gets on the board as he attacks the basket and finishes in traffic.
Marcus Williams hits a three to end the game for the Nuggets as the Suns dribble out the clock to another victory.
The Suns beat the Nuggets with a final score of 80-64 . Goran Dragic and Markieff Morris are the leading scorers for the Suns with 12 points each. Danilo Gallinari is the leading scorer on the Nuggets with 17 points.
The Suns were looking to show more energy and focus tonight after a sloppy win against the Flamengo international team last Wednesday. In that respect, mission accomplished.
The Suns still certainly have some kinks to work out, and they are still making some sloppy plays at times, but they already looked much improved tonight, and against much better competition.
Stay tuned for more coverage, including post game quotes from the coaches and players, along with other thought's on tonight's game, coming tomorrow morning.