Kevin Durant scored 30 points and Devin Booker added 27 as the host Phoenix Suns extended their winning streak to four games with a 100-93 win over the short-handed Denver Nuggets on Friday night
Josh Okogie scored 14 points and Deandre Ayton had 10 rebounds for Phoenix (42-35), which led by as many as 27 midway through the third quarter before Denver began its comeback. Chris Paul had a game-high 13 assists.
Aaron Gordon led Denver (51-26) with 26 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Bruce Brown scored 16 points, Reggie Jackson added 13, and Christian Braun chipped in 11.
The Nuggets played without four injured starters: Nikola Jokic (right calf tightness), Jamal Murray (left knee injury management), Michael Porter Jr. (left heel injury management) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (non-COVID illness)
The Nuggets rallied to pull within five points early in the fourth quarter and trailed 95-91 after Gordon scored with 3:24 left. The teams exchanged baskets before Okogie hit one of his four 3-pointers with 45.8 seconds remaining to seal the victory
Phoenix appeared firmly in control from the outset and led 32-20 after closing the first quarter on a 12-3 run. Durant and Booker combined for 21 points in the period.
The Suns held a 60-40 advantage at the half after shooting 50 percent from the field. Durant scored 19 points in the half while Booker added 18
Jackson had 13 points in the first half to lead Denver, which shot 37 percent from the field and 1 of 11 (9.1 percent) from 3-point range in the half.
Durant, who made his Suns home debut in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, scored with just over eight minutes left in the third quarter to give Phoenix a commanding 72-45 lead
Denver battled back and closed the third quarter on a 29-14 run to cut the deficit to 84-74. Zeke Nnaji scored with just under 10 minutes remaining in the contest to make it a five-point game.
DeAndre Jordan had a game-high 12 rebounds for Denver, which shot 6 of 26 (23.1 percent) from 3-point range and has lost two straight following a four-game winning streak.
Phoenix improved to 26-12 at home and recorded its first win over Denver this season after dropping the first two meetings.
--Field Level Media