House Sparks Suns to Fifth Straight Win
Phoenix 102, Denver 97
PHOENIX, Dec. 2 (Ticker) -- Eddie House woke up the rest of the Phoenix Suns.
House scored nine of his 12 points in an 84-second stretch of the fourth quarter as the Suns extended their winning streak to a season-high five games with a 102-97 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
"We had a really solid first half, it was really great," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "For whatever reason, we lost a little bit of concentration in the third quarter and the other team picked it up.
"We went through a cold stretch and Eddie House came in with his third save of the season. He has three saves out of nine wins." Earl Boykins' jumper with 10:27 remaining gave the Nuggets a 79-77 edge before Kurt Thomas converted a three-point play at the other end to put the Suns in front for good and ignite a 17-2 run.
That was when House took over. After missing five of his first six shots, House nailed a jumper with 9:20 left and added another one 20 seconds later to make it 84-79.
"I'm going to keep shooting the ball, because that's the one thing that coach stresses with everybody - when you get an open look, take the shot," House said. "I was getting the same looks in the second half as I was in the first. They just started falling in the second half."
House drained a 3-pointer before hitting another jump shot with 7:56 remaining to push Phoenix's lead to 89-79.
"He can be 0-for-3, I don't care," D'Antoni said. "I don't want to take him out in case the next five shots go in."
Marcus Camby, who had a season-high 33 points and 20 rebounds, made a layup 36 seconds later before Boris Diaw's layup and Nash's 3-pointer made it 94-81 with just under six minutes left.
Camby hit a short jumper and two free throws to draw the Nuggets within 101-97 with 54 seconds to go and rebounded Marion's miss on the other end. But Andre Miller missed a shot from the arc and Nash made 1-of-2 free throws to seal it.
"Down by 17 at halftime, we hunkered down together and tried to regain the lead going into the fourth," Camby said. "I don't want to get fined, but ... let's just say they made big plays going down the stretch. They made more big plays then we did."
Carmelo Anthony scored 22 points and Miller contributed 18 and 10 assists for Denver, which was playing without suspended coach George Karl.
"It was an incredible effort. Marcus was phenomenal," said Nuggets assistant Scott Brooks, who fell to 0-4 while filling in for Karl. "There is not a better big man in the league. There is no way he should have played the minutes he played."
Thomas finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Suns, who have held their last seven opponents under 100 points and have won five straight home games.
"We've been working a lot on our man-to-man defense, which is starting to improve," Marion said. "We just need to keep playing together and give a good team effort every night. We're starting to show signs of greatness out there. We just need to keep moving forward in each game."