Suns rally for 103-99 win over Nuggets

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 21, 2013 at 12:18 am •  Published: December 21, 2013
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DENVER (AP) — Markieff Morris found himself on the bench after he didn't hustle back and allowed a dunk in the second quarter.

That certainly got his attention. Next time in, Morris played with way more determination.

Same with the rest of the Phoenix Suns. It was the only way to erase an early 21-point deficit.

Morris scored 25 points and Gerald Green added 19, helping the Suns rally for a 103-99 win over the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.

"We never quit. We came out and fought all the way to the end," Morris said. "It's a great feeling, man."

It was hardly one player, either, and the reserves played a big hand, too, outscoring the starters, 64-39.

"That just goes to show you what type of team we have," said Green, who tied a career-high with six 3-pointers. "Some nights are not going to be everybody's night. Any given night, somebody can step up on this team and help us win. That's what it takes.

"That shows a lot about our character."

First, Green got hot, hitting 3-pointer after 3-pointer.

And once the Nuggets spread out their defense in order to stop the long-range shooting, Goran Dragic went to work by driving the lane. He finished with 17 points, including two big layups down the stretch.

Steadily, the Suns worked their way back into a contest that looked all but over, especially with the Nuggets up 79-62 with 4 minutes left in the third quarter.

But Suns coach Jeff Hornacek kept them on course, kept their confidence high. That did the trick.

"I've got to give coach the credit, he never panicked. He never yelled at us," Green said. "He just kept with it, kept telling us to stick with the plan and it's going to work."

Wilson Chandler had 15 points for the Nuggets, while J.J. Hickson added 13 points and 14 rebounds.

Ty Lawson was in the lineup despite coming down with a stomach bug on Thursday. He was slightly off his game, going 3 of 11 from the floor and finishing with 13 points.

"They were down 21 points but they kept fighting," Denver forward Darrell Arthur said.

Phoenix tied it 88-all on a layup from Ish Smith — his only basket of the game — with 8:21 remaining. Soon after, the Suns took their first lead since scoring the opening bucket when Dragic dribbled past Denver defenders for a layup.

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