Nuggets take another shot at solving Phoenix Suns

Denver 0-3 against Phoenix this season
by Aaron Lopez

When it comes to playing the Phoenix Suns, the Denver Nuggets are hoping the fourth time is a charm.

The Suns have won all three meetings this season and will be going for the sweep Tuesday night at Pepsi Center.

“We do owe them,” Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried said. “It’s going to be tough. They’ve got a great point guard and some great players all around. We’re going to fight, especially on our home court.”

Thought to be in a rebuilding year, the Suns (30-21) are seventh in the West behind the strong play of point guard Goran Dragic and the guidance of first-year coach Jeff Hornacek.

“They’re surprising everybody in the league, but they shouldn’t be a surprise anymore,” Denver coach Brian Shaw said. “They consistently keep on winning.”

As they resume play after the All-Star break, the Nuggets are six games behind Phoenix. Shaw is less concerned about the playoff picture and more focused on taking steps in the right direction as a team.

“At this point, we’re obviously outside the playoff bubble looking in,” he said. “I’m not even talking about playoffs. We have to get back to the point where we can play a complete 48 minutes and feel what it’s like to win a game. That’s the starting point. It’s not going to be easy.”

Denver has lost four straight games overall but won its final two home games before the break. The Suns are a respectable 13-12 on the road, with one of the victories coming on Dec. 20 when they erased a 21-point deficit to beat the Nuggets at Pepsi Center.


WHEN: 7 p.m. MT
WHERE: Pepsi Center, Denver.
TV; RADIO: Altitude; AM-950

DENVER (24-27)

F Darrell Arthur
F Kenneth Faried
C J.J. Hickson
G Wilson Chandler
G Randy Foye

PHOENIX (30-21)
F P.J. Tucker
F Channing Frye
C Miles Plumlee
G Gerald Green
G Goran Dragic

Ty Lawson (fractured rib), Danilo Gallinari (knee), JaVale McGee (stress fracture, left tibia) and Nate Robinson are out.
PHOENIX: Eric Bledsoe (knee) and Emeka Okafor (herniated disc) are out.

Denver is 14-21 overall against the Suns since 2004-05, having gone 11-6 at home and 3-15 on the road . . . The road team has won just five games in this series since the end of the 2006-07 season and are 5-16 over this stretch . . . This season marks the first series win for Phoenix since 2009-10 . . . Before the previous three seasons, the Nuggets had not won a season series against Phoenix since 2003-04 (4-0), while they’ve only won multiple games against the Suns four times in the eight seasons since (2-2 in 2007-08) . . . The Suns set a Nuggets opponent record with 20 made three-pointers at the U.S. Airways Center on 1/7/08 (20-31) . . . The Suns also hold the Nuggets opponent record for the most points scored in a regular season non-overtime game (173 in Phoenix on 11/10/90).