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Nuggets host Suns in important game for Western Conference standings

Matt Brooks
Writer & Digital Content Specialist

The Denver Nuggets host the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, a team they could run into in the 2024 postseason.

But first, the injury report.

INJURY REPORT

Denver:
Vlatko Čančar — OUT (Left Knee Surgery)
Aaron Gordon — QUESTIONABLE (Right Plantar Fascia Strain)
Nikola Jokić — PROBABLE (Low Back Pain/Left Hip Inflammation)
Jamal Murray — QUESTIONABLE (Right Knee Inflammation)
Zeke Nnaji — OUT (Right Adductor Tendinosis)
Michael Porter Jr. — PROBABLE (Illness)

Phoenix:
Bradley Beal — QUESTIONABLE (Right Finger Sprain)
Damion Lee — OUT (Right Meniscus Surgery)
Jusuf Nurkić — QUESTIONABLE (Right Ankle Sprain)

Phoenix and Denver face off for the third time this season with real playoff implications. The Nuggets hold a half-game lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. They're a full game-and-a-half ahead of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have a light schedule to close out the season. Denver has gone 15-2 since the All-Star break, the best record in the NBA in that span.

Phoenix, on the other hand, is fighting for their playoff lives. They currently hold the eighth-best record in the Western Conference, and if the season ended today, they'd be in the Play-In Tournament. The Suns remaining schedule is not kind; they face the Timberwolves twice, the Thunder, the New Orleans Pelicans (44-28), the Cleveland Cavaliers (44-28), the Sacramento Kings (42-30), and the LA Clippers twice (44-27) to finish the year. With only a two-game lead over the Los Angeles Lakers, there's a very real chance that Phoenix falls to the 9-10 play-in game. Losing to the Victor Wembanyama-less San Antonio Spurs did not help.

If the season ended today, the 1-seed Nuggets would play the 8-seed Suns in the first round. That'd make for quite an interesting series. One of Denver's two post-All-Star break losses occurred at the hands of the Suns. It took some unreal shot-making from Kevin Durant and an overtime period to do it, but the Suns defeated the Nuggets 117-107 on March 5th.

Denver and Phoenix are 1-1 this season. Wednesday's game will decide the regular season series.

TUNE-IN: Wednesday 8:00 p.m. MT, ESPN and Altitude TV, and Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM