Defeated twice on their ground, the Suns started a long “road trip” that night with six stops in Denver. Despite a great collective effort to snatch the extension including 31 points from Landry Shamet, replacing sniper at short notice, Phoenix finally had to bow for a third defeat in a row against the duo Nikola Jokic – Aaron Gordon (128-125).
However, at +8 (101-93) less than 7 minutes away, Phoenix had all the cards in hand to break its little black series. It was without counting on the rage of AAron Gordon and the composure of Jamal Murray behind the arc. It was the latter who took advantage of Nikola Jokic’s good screen to dunk and equalize 10 seconds from the end.
The Suns have the match point in their hands but Mikal Bridges is whistled for an offensive foul on a very badly placed screen… but the latter makes up for it by covering up Jamal Murray’s final attempt at 3-points. We’re off to overtime to end the Christmas evening (113-113)!
In overtime, Denver seemed to take control of the game when Nikola Jokic fired a one-footed shot to beat the clock by 24, and even more so when KCP gave his side +6 from behind the arc. But Landr Shamet responds again and again… before being the expiatory victim of a huge dunk from Gordon which crushes him under the circle!
The Suns will have a new opportunity to extricate themselves from this hornet’s nest in Colorado, after a missed throw from Murray, but Bruce Brown comes to sting the ball and the mass is said: Denver wins (128-125).
— An explosive extension. Between Landry Shamet’s kicks, Jokic’s clock buzzer shot and of course the many twists and turns in his incredible scenario, the overtime between the Nuggets and the Suns was particularly explosive. Gordon was the great animator but the Suns almost ruined everything by coming back very close to a layup from Deandre Ayton, then a missed throw from Murray.
— Devin Booker’s injury. He was warming up and he played 4 minutes but Devin Booker couldn’t finish the match with his teammates. His groin injury prevented him! He had already missed the previous three meetings of Phoenix because of this same problem.
✅ Nikola Jokic. Author of 15 points in the first quarter, Jokic finished fanny in 2nd, before leaving very strong after returning from the locker room, with 16 units over the period. Less of a scorer but nevertheless omnipresent at the end of the match, the Serbian pivot finished with an incredible line of stats, a new strong triple double maousse (his 83rd career) with 41 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists! Monstrous!
✅ Aaron Gordon. Ultra-spectacular with no less than seven dunks in a Christmas game, Aaron Gordon had good airs of ‘Santa Claus’, punctuating his evening with a huge poster on Landry Shamet! With 28 points and 13 rebounds, he confirms match after match that he is an ideal complement to Jokic.
✅ Landry Shamet. Not necessarily required to play 39 minutes of play, he responded perfectly to Monty Williams’ call after Booker’s injury with 31 points, equaling a career record. The Suns sniper certainly struggled to get started in the first quarter (0/3) but he caught fire in the second with 15 points in 9 minutes. At the end of the game, it was also he who allowed Phoenix to hang on with two 3-pointers in overtime.
⛔ Michael Porter Jr.. After a satisfactory comeback against the Blazers, the Nuggets winger is only a shadow of himself, unable to be able to rub shoulders with opposing interiors to vary his game, now exclusively limited to outside shots. And when it doesn’t fall into it, like last night, it’s ugly (3/11 including 0/5 at 3-points)…
Denver (21-11) : trip to Sacramento on Wednesday for the first of a double confrontation with the Kings.
Phoenix (19-15) : second leg of their « road trip » in six stopovers, in Memphis, Wednesday.denver
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