There may be an easy break for the Phoenix Suns despite facing the Denver Nuggets on Friday. The Nuggets, 51-25, hold the top spot in the Western Conference.
Phoenix still has the advantage over Denver, however. The Nuggets are sitting four of their starters on Friday, namely Nikola Jokić and Jamal Murray.
Given that, the Suns applying constant pressure on the Nuggets’ rotational pieces should be enough to see a win.
The Suns were able to close out the half with a 60-40 lead over the Nuggets.
First Quarter Cruising
The Suns enjoyed one of their better first quarter showings this season. After finishing the first quarter on a 12-0 run prior to the final seconds, Phoenix ended the quarter with a 32-20 lead.
Kevin Durant was able to jumpstart his night after a rough showing on Wednesday. He ended the quarter with 12 points, shooting 4-of-4 from the field.
Durant’s progression off an injury has to be slowly brought along. Be that as it may, the Suns are hoping he’s back at full strength sooner than later with the playoffs looming.
The Suns as a unit shot 52 percent from the floor and 42 percent from three-point range in the quarter as well. Given the numbers, and the shorthandedness of Denver, a decent lead was expected.
T.J. Warren Growing in His Role
Even without the flashiest numbers, it’s impressive to see Warren coming into his role with Phoenix. Warren has been more aggressive in his recent showings, as was the case on Friday in the first half.
Warren ended the half with four points, five rebounds and two assists. He also had one block and one steal.
Warren’s current display is what the Suns front office was seeking during his acquisition. He fills the boxes as an all-around two-way player that can be inserted with the starters if need be. If not, his spark off the bench will continue to be more than enough.
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