Nuggets-Suns Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 11, 2012
A general lack of accuracy has kept the Denver Nuggets from being the scoring machine many thought they'd be, but they've still managed to win four straight after opening the season with three consecutive losses. Perhaps they'll find their shooting touch against the Phoenix Suns. Denver has shot better than 50 percent and averaged nearly 120 points during a six-game winning streak against the Suns heading into Monday night's matchup at US Airways Center. The Nuggets (4-3) shot 42.7 percent while opening the season 0-3, and though they've connected on just 42.5 percent of their shots since then, they haven't lost. Denver shot 32.7 percent in the first half Saturday at Golden State, but held off the Warriors 107-101 in double overtime. Golden State shot 38.2 percent for the game, the fourth time George Karl's team held an opponent under 39.0 percent. The Nuggets, who led the NBA in scoring last season but allowed the second-most points, only held eight teams below that mark last season. "Our defense is winning us games," Karl told the league's official website. "Kenneth (Faried's) energy on the boards and the offensive rebounds are giving us extra possessions so that we can survive shooting the ball as poorly as we're shooting it right now." Faried has certainly made a difference, averaging 17.8 points and 12.6 rebounds - more than half of which have come on the offensive end - in the past five games. Faried helped the Nuggets sweep the Suns (3-4) last season, averaging 14.3 points and 10.3 boards in less than 27 minutes a game. Denver has won six straight in the series by an average of 15.4 points, putting up 119.7 points per game and shooting 50.8 percent. Phoenix certainly doesn't figure to end that skid if it plays anything like it did Saturday. A night after rallying from 26 down to beat Cleveland, the Suns shot 36.8 percent and were outrebounded 52-37 in a 94-81 loss at Utah. "I don't think we were flat,'' coach Alvin Gentry said. "You have to get the ball in the basket ... Our defense was pretty good. During one stretch (we made) eight out of 10 stops and we didn't make up any ground because we didn't get the ball in the basket on the other end.'' Phoenix's defense hasn't been good very often thus far. The Suns are allowing 103.4 points per game and opponents are shooting 43.5 percent from 3-point range - each among the worst marks in the NBA. Gentry's team is shooting 30.3 percent from long distance, a problem that's partially due to the struggles of Michael Beasley. Looking to rejuvenate his career in Phoenix, Beasley isn't off to a very good start as he's averaged 12.9 points and shot 34.7 percent - 25.9 from deep. Poor starts, in fact, might be the Suns' biggest issue. They're allowing an NBA-high 28.7 points per game in the first quarter, and have trailed by a combined 31 points after 12 minutes in their past two contests. "It's very difficult. You give up one quarter or lose focus one quarter or two quarters, sometimes three quarters," forward Luis Scola said. "We were down 26 (Friday) and ended up winning, but how many times can you do that? We need to be more solid and play 48 minutes. If we play 48 minutes, we'll be OK." Scola's numbers, surprisingly, have had little to do with Phoenix's success so far. The Suns are 0-4 when he scores at least 15 points and 3-0 when he scores 13 or fewer.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Data shows NFL-backed youth program that claimed reduced concussions is bogus

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Odom’s family working hard to get him to go to rehab

Drug dealers adding Olympic rings to cocaine wrappers in Rio

Report: Cowboys have ‘no interest’ in Freeney, Hardy

Report: Bradham was defending girlfriend during alleged assault

Elliott domestic violence case being taken to city prosecutor

Belichick: Brady is not going to lose his starting job

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

WATCH: Tigers play high stakes game of Rock, Paper, Scissors

Tavares dismisses rumors, wants to stay with Islanders

UFC signs a new broadcast deal in the U.K.

Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus: What does this mean for Serie A?

MLB asks Yaisel Puig to stop wearing his Vin Scully cleats

Study finds link on babies named Shea, Mets’ success

Durant: Being cheered by Oracle Arena crowd ‘felt a little weird’

10 must-watch WWE Network outside-the-ring videos

Is Marchand worth the money he’s reportedly asking for?

Rams sent emails hawking hats to old ticket holders in St. Louis

Miami Marlins unveil logo for 2017 MLB All-Star Game

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker