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Suns bury Nuggets for 12th straight win

THE Phoenix Suns never trailed en route to their 12th consecutive win, a 126-97 blowout of the Denver Nuggets, on Sunday in Phoenix.

Cameron Johnson led all scorers with 22 points coming off the Suns’ bench. Deandre Ayton led the Phoenix starters with 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting to go with eight rebounds and two blocked shots.

Devin Booker added 17 points and seven assists, Jae Crowder scored 15 points, and Chris Paul finished with nine points and 10 assists. Cameron Payne and JaVale McGee scored 10 points each.

The Suns pushed the longest winning streak in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the franchise’s best run since winning 17 straight in 2006-2007 to 12 games.

The loss marked four straight for the Nuggets, and the third during the skid by a double-digit-point margin.

Jeff Green led Denver with 19 points. Aaron Gordon posted a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds, JaMychal Green added 14 points and eight rebounds. Will Barton, Monte Morris and Austin Rivers each scored 10 points.

The Suns set the tone early, closing out a 48-point first quarter on a 15-3 run.

Phoenix’s burst to close the opening period extended its lead to 20 points. The Suns held a double-digit-point cushion for most of the rest of the game.

Denver, playing without reigning Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic for the second consecutive game due to a sprained wrist, cut the gap to nine points midway through the third quarter.

Phoenix responded with a 17-4 run to close out the period. The Suns extended their advantage to as many as 30 points behind a balanced scoring effort.

The Suns scored as many field goals off assists (33) as total field goals they yielded to Denver. The Nuggets shot just 33 of 90, while Phoenix went 46 of 87. — Reuters

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