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Suns 114, Nuggets 103

The SportsXchange

PHOENIX -- Forward Markeiff Morris scored a career-high 28 points and added 10 rebounds and guard Eric Bledsoe had nine of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Phoenix Suns blew an 18-point lead in the third quarter before rallying for a 114-103 win over the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.

Guard Ty Lawson had 20 of his 29 points in the third quarter when the Nuggets outscored the Suns 40-20 and used a 36-7 run to turn the game around. But the Suns, who scored a season-high 64 points in the first half, finished with a 30-point fourth quarter to move to 3-0 at home this season.

Morris, who tied his career high with 23 points in Wednesday's loss at San Antonio, made 10 of 13 shots from the field and is 21 of 26 in the last two games, posting double-doubles in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.

Add in 11 points and eight rebounds for forward Marcus Morris, and the brothers combined for 39 points and 18 rebounds against the Nuggets.

Center Miles Plumlee had a double-double as well with 18 points and 11 rebounds as the Suns won for the fourth time in their first six games.

Forward Jordan Hamilton had 19 points and forward Anthony Randolph added 14 points for the Nuggets, who have lost four of five games to start the season.

The Nuggets trailed 64-47 at the half, but Lawson outscored the Suns 21-20 by himself as Denver turned a double-digit deficit into a double-digit lead.

Lawson followed an 18-footer with a 3-pointer to start the comeback. His 3-point play with 4:30 left gave Denver the lead at 74-72 and his 14-footer capped a 15-0 Nuggets run to make it 78-72.

The Denver lead reached 10 at 84-74 before the Suns counterpunched with a 10-3 run to end the quarter. Guard Ish Smith had a three-point play before feeding Markieff Morris for a layup with 1.5 seconds left and the Suns were back in the game at 87-84 after three quarters.

The Suns shot 58 percent from the field in the first quarter and broke a 10-10 tie with a 14-3 run midway through the first quarter. Plumlee and guard Gerald Green had back-to-back dunks before Plumlee produced back-to-back three-point plays over Denver center Timofey Mozgov to highlight the run.

Denver whittled the Phoenix lead to three late in the first quarter and opened the second with a 7-0 run aided by three consecutive Suns turnovers. Forward Darrell Arthur's 20-footer gave the Nuggets the lead back at 36-35 with 10:58 left in the first half.

But the Suns came right back with nine straight points to regain control. Green had a dunk and 3-pointer wrapped around a three-point play by Markieff Morris during the run. Phoenix ended the half with another string of nine straight points, capped by a soaring Morris putback dunk of a missed Plumlee free throw with 6.9 seconds left to give the Suns their biggest lead at 64-46.

NOTES: Suns G Goran Dragic missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle after giving it a try in warm-ups. "We told him to make sure it is 100 percent," Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek said. "If you feel something, let's play it on the safe side and try it the next game." ... The Nuggets had won eight of the last nine meetings with the Suns, including three of the last four at US Airways Center. Before that, Denver had lost 12 straight in Phoenix. ... F Markieff Morris came off the bench and hit 11 of 13 shots from the field in Wednesday's loss to San Antonio. He was the first Suns reserve to shoot a percentage that high with at least 13 attempts since current Suns TV analyst Eddie Johnson was 11 of 13 against Seattle on April 6, 1989. ... Brain Shaw on Bledsoe. "He's kind of played in the shadow of guards that were in front of him. ... I remember Kevin Johnson coming into the league playing behind Mark Price (in Cleveland) and the same thing with Steve Nash playing behind Jason Kidd (in Phoenix). Then they were traded to a different team and got a chance to spread their wings."
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