Denver Nuggets 84, Phoenix Suns 90: Three takeaways

by Alex Labidou
Nuggets.com Staff Writer
@LabidouA

The Denver Nuggets suffered their third straight 2021 Summer League defeat after a late rally by the Phoenix Suns, dropping a 90-84 result.

Denver led after both the first and second quarters and held a 60-55 advantage midway through the third quarter. Things would start to unravel for Charles Klask’s Summer League team after that stage. Phoenix would respond with a 12-4 to close out the quarter with a three-point lead.

Bol Bol has continued to make his case for more minutes in the regular season with another strong performance, dropping 18 points, six rebounds, and three blocks. Jalen Smith led the way for Phoenix with a double-double, posting 21 points and 11 boards.

Klask’s team will look to end its three-game skid when it takes on the Dallas Mavericks (1 p.m. MT, NBA TV).

Here are the three takeaways:

Bol having fun

Bol might have shot 6 of 17, but his impact was easy to see once again on both ends. The Nuggets center looked fluid and continued to show the versatility and guard-like skills that made him one of the top-ranked prospects in high school.

Equally as impressive was Bol’s ability to space the floor. The 21-year-old connected on 3 of 8 shooting from downtown, a big improvement from his first two games.

Bones proving clutch

One of the reasons why the Nuggets drafted Bones Hyland was due to his confidence in shooting from long range. He showed just how far that range can reach late in the second quarter.

With just 4.2 seconds left before halftime, Hyland received an inbound pass from about six feet away from the arc and drained a three with 0.6 remaining. The moment proved just how fearless the 20-year-old rookie can be.

Although Hyland would have also liked to hit more shots on the night as he shot 35.4 percent, he continues to show a strong ability to create off the dribble and get buckets. He certainly has the potential to make an impact once he becomes more efficient.

Three-point defending collapses late

Opponent three-point shooting has plagued the Nuggets throughout the tournament. For three quarters, it appeared as if the team had moved on – holding the Suns to nine threes on 36.5 percent shooting.

The issue would rear its head in the fourth quarter with Phoenix hitting 4 of 8 threes. Michael Frazier II was the catalyst for the Suns, hitting 2 of 3 in the quarter.

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