PHOENIX — For a half the Phoenix Suns were every bit the equal of the Denver Nuggets, going basket for basket with them in a back-and-forth opening 24 minutes that severely taxed the scoreboard...

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It hurts.

The Denver Nuggets continued their mastery of the Phoenix Suns, riding a dominating third quarter to a 118-107 win in Phoenix today, their sixth in a row over the Suns. Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with a season-high 29 points and 10 assists, his backcourt partner Arron Afflalo scored 19, Denver forced 17 Phoenix turnovers, and Kenneth Faried ruled the paint with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Shannon Brown led the Suns with 28 points including 6 converted 3-pointers, Marcin Gortat put up a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Steve Nash dished 13 assists, passing Oscar Robertson for fifth on the all-time assists list in the process.

Unfortunately, this game looked similar to the Suns' previous meetings against the Nuggets: Denver is too athletic for Phoenix to keep up, they force the Suns into turnovers and convert them to easy transition baskets as the Nuggets beat the Suns 26-2 in fast break points. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The Suns lost Channing Frye late in the second quarter with a "subluxed right shoulder" and the Nuggets holding a 48-47 lead. Whether due to Frye's absence or not, things went south in a hurry after that as Denver's lead ballooned to as many as 21 in the third quarter, and the Nuggets had 93 points on the board after only three quarters of play.

Even with the loss, the Suns continue to control their own destiny in the playoff race. Since they hold the tiebreaker over the Jazz, a win over the Jazz plus either a Suns win over San Antonio or another Jazz loss would put the Suns in the postseason.

The loss of Frye hurts about as much as the loss of the game. Last season, the Suns were making a strong playoff push before Frye's shoulder injury effectively finished their season. His basic stats aren't anything special at around 10 points and 6 rebounds per game, but he's a valuable player as a stretch big man to give Nash spacing to execute the pick and roll.

Next game is Tuesday, the pivotal matchup at Utah versus the Jazz.

Follow the jump for the roll call.

Roll Call: NashMV3, Toon Army Sun, lux200, shawndy, The Solution, Suns R Us, HarunSUNS, WaveOcean, REneeR, toto_l2003, HarvMel, MMotherwell, SteveNash, QuantumPhysicist, brian13, Jim Coughenour, PhoenixSons, rainmann, the new Bradfather, haremoor, Juac, wedge1039, Beavis 25, JoeWisco, raxado, phxpurple, Antwuan, ThatOtherCanadianKid, troglodytes, SUNS PORTUGAL, Dickwan Sasser, sunnydays, PHXgp, Piotr Szczesniak, East Bay Ray, suns68, PolishHammer, Omaha Sun, sonicking, sports_dude33, quixilver, Stanley B, ericscholwinski, Spit_Fire, Suns2flyy, ArizonaCactus, Gnurrgard, MJ5, sidepart, fandbacks, KC_Suns_Fan, fanoftheunderdogs, NIRVANALOGIK, jatrex4suns, NashIsBeast, Not Disclosing My Name, nashtyish, ScottHowardsOffspring, Aztiramtempe, tameszu, modernage13
Total Users: 60
Total Posts: 1470
Total Threads: 2

Name # of Posts
PhoenixSons 142
NashMV3 128
Suns R Us 104
SteveNash, QuantumPhysicist 99
shawndy 93
Antwuan 68
Omaha Sun 60
Jim Coughenour 56
phxpurple 55
brian13 52
MMotherwell 47
Beavis 25 44
WaveOcean 41
HarvMel 37
raxado 37
PolishHammer 33
East Bay Ray 27
haremoor 24
NashIsBeast 23
sonicking 22
the new Bradfather 21
ThatOtherCanadianKid 20
Juac 19
rainmann 18
JoeWisco 17
wedge1039 14
HarunSUNS 13
PHXgp 13
lux200 12
troglodytes 10
Toon Army Sun 10
fanoftheunderdogs 9
Dickwan Sasser 7
The Solution 7
Not Disclosing My Name 6
Gnurrgard 6
sports_dude33 5
Suns2flyy 4
ericscholwinski 4
ArizonaCactus 4
modernage13 4
Piotr Szczesniak 4
Stanley B 4
Spit_Fire 3
suns68 3
jatrex4suns 2
KC_Suns_Fan 2
toto_l2003 2
tameszu 1
ScottHowardsOffspring 1
nashtyish 1
Aztiramtempe 1
sidepart 1
sunnydays 1
quixilver 1
MJ5 1
fandbacks 1
REneeR 1

Steve Nash passed Oscar Robertson for fifth on the all-time assists list in the first half.

It's been the usual Suns/Nuggets game so far: 60% shooting for the Nuggets, 54% for the Suns, 118 combined first half points. The pick and roll was working early for the Suns as Gortat had 13 first quarter points and Nash 9 assists. Bad news for the Suns was the injury to Channing Frye. It will now be up to Markieff Morris and Hakim Warrick to carry the load at PF.

We can do this!

Channing Frye won't return. Subluxed right shoulder, same as last season.

— Seth Pollack (@sethpo) April 21, 2012

Roll Call: brian13, HarunSUNS, NashMV3, East Bay Ray, Omaha Sun, Toon Army Sun, haremoor, SteveNash, QuantumPhysicist, PolishHammer, fandbacks, Jim Coughenour, ericscholwinski, KC_Suns_Fan, shawndy, phxpurple, Antwuan, PhoenixSons, suns68, WaveOcean, wedge1039, Gnurrgard, sonicking, lux200, ThatOtherCanadianKid, sports_dude33, fanoftheunderdogs, Juac, JoeWisco, HarvMel, NIRVANALOGIK, jatrex4suns, rainmann, NashIsBeast, Not Disclosing My Name, PHXgp, the new Bradfather, raxado, nashtyish, ScottHowardsOffspring, Aztiramtempe, tameszu, SUNS PORTUGAL, troglodytes, Spit_Fire, Suns2flyy, Piotr Szczesniak, Suns R Us, modernage13, MMotherwell, toto_l2003
Total Users: 50
Total Posts: 809
Total Threads: 1

Name # of Posts
PhoenixSons 95
NashMV3 72
SteveNash, QuantumPhysicist 60
Omaha Sun 47
shawndy 43
Antwuan 39
Jim Coughenour 33
WaveOcean 27
brian13 26
East Bay Ray 25
PolishHammer 25
phxpurple 25
NashIsBeast 23
sonicking 21
haremoor 21
the new Bradfather 20
Suns R Us 18
HarvMel 14
rainmann 14
raxado 14
wedge1039 12
ThatOtherCanadianKid 12
JoeWisco 12
fanoftheunderdogs 9
Toon Army Sun 9
HarunSUNS 9
Juac 8
PHXgp 7
Not Disclosing My Name 6
lux200 5
MMotherwell 5
modernage13 4
troglodytes 4
Gnurrgard 4
Suns2flyy 3
Piotr Szczesniak 2
sports_dude33 2
KC_Suns_Fan 2
ericscholwinski 2
suns68 2
jatrex4suns 2
fandbacks 1
toto_l2003 1
tameszu 1
ScottHowardsOffspring 1
Aztiramtempe 1
nashtyish 1
Spit_Fire 1


The race for a playoff spot continues today as the Suns host the Nuggets. A win today plus a win Tuesday versus the Jazz would clinch a spot for Phoenix, winners of 5 of 8 since their loss to the Nuggets two weeks ago.

Paul Coro reports that Grant Hill will not play today due to his nagging knee injury.

Grant Hill will not play today vs. Denver. Lateral movement is still an issue with the right knee.

— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) April 21, 2012

Suns vs. Nuggets Game Preview: Time to Break the Streak

Daily Western Conference Playoff Standings Update: Utah Jazz Biting At Phoenix Suns' Heels

Next Game

Denver Nuggets 118, Phoenix Suns 107 PHOENIX — Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry won’t call anything a must-win. He despises the term, thinks it’s a silly mantra. “I...

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