Lawson and Nene lead Nuggets over SunsMar 11, 2011 - 7:27 AM Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Ty Lawson finished with 20 points and 11 assists, while Nene had 22 points and seven rebounds in Denver's 116-97 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
The Nuggets shot 52 percent, largely thanks to Lawson and Nene, who combined to make 17-of-25 field goals.
Wilson Chandler added 16 points for Denver, which rebounded from Saturday's loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles and snapped a 12-game losing streak in Phoenix. Chris Andersen came off the bench to make all six of his shots, ending with 12 points.
"We had a lot of motivation going into this game," Lawson said. "We haven't won here in seven years. We were trying to make sure we got the win. We pressured them and we played really good."
Marcin Gortat had 18 rebounds and 14 points to lead the Suns, who never led and have dropped three of five.
"We were not ready from the first minute," Gortat said. "They jumped on us really quick and they built a lead right there in the beginning, and later we were trying to catch up with them -- very, very stupid turnovers -- and that's how you lose the game."
Just past the midway point of the first quarter, Chandler sank a three and Lawson followed with a jumper to give Denver a 22-12 lead. The Nuggets stretched their lead to 10 twice more before carrying a 30-25 edge into the second quarter.
The Suns made several runs to stay close, and drew within 53-49 on Hakim Warrick's three-point play with 1:25 left in the half.
But Denver scored the final six points of the period and led by 10 at the break.
The Nuggets took control in the third quarter, during which it made 13-of-24 shots and limited Phoenix to seven field goals.
J.R. Smith capped the period by making a three-pointer with 0.1 seconds on the clock, sending Denver into the fourth with a 90-66 advantage. The Nuggets utilized their bench to maintain the lead down the stretch.
Smith ended with 12 points for the Nuggets...Warrick and Grant Hill both finished with 12 points for the Suns, while Jared Dudley had 13 points...Phoenix closes its three-game homestand Sunday against Orlando...Denver hosts Detroit on Saturday before beginning a four-game road trip that includes stops in New Orleans, Atlanta, Orlando and Miami.
- DENVER: 116
Mar 11 12:51 AM
- DENVER: 90
End of 3rd
Mar 11 12:17 AM
- DENVER: 59
Mar 10 11:38 PM
- DENVER: 30
End of 1st
Mar 10 11:04 PM
- DENVER: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 10 10:42 PM
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