By Jose M. Romero
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
PHOENIX _ Suns coach Jeff Hornacek wondered if his team would be a little tired after a six-game road trip that ended with a long flight home from Toronto on Monday night.
Gerald Green quickly put to rest any concerns about jetlag, scoring 24 points in helping Phoenix race to a 120-112 win over the Denver Nuggets Wednesday night.
Eric Bledsoe had 21 points as seven Suns players scored in double figures.
Green made 6 of 11 3-pointers, four in the second half when he scored 16 points, and the Suns won for the fifth time in six games. Goran Dragic added 20 points for Phoenix, which ended Denver’s five-game winning streak.
“It was probably a tough game for us coming off of the long road trip,” Hornacek said. “To fight through that little bit of tiredness … these guys just kept playing and I’m proud of them.”
Timofey Mozgov had 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Nuggets (7-8) and Ty Lawson added 17 points and 12 assists.
Green carried the Suns (10-6) to a big lead in the third quarter after the score was tied at halftime. He hit three 3-pointers in the third, the first of which gave the Suns an 85-74 lead at the 4:26 mark.
Denver came back with an 8-0 run that ended on a soaring dunk by Alonzo Gee, but Green made two more 3s, both from the right baseline, that put Phoenix up 93-86 after three quarters.
His reverse jam with 8:57 to play in the game put the Suns up 105-94, and an alley-oop dunk off a feed from Bledsoe gave Phoenix its largest lead of the game, 16 points at 110-94 with 6:46 left.
“He’s just been a Nugget killer, all last season and this season to this point,” Denver coach Brian Shaw said of Green. “He just finds an opening, it’s just like he has a target on us every time we play him.”
Green had 36 points against Denver in a game last season.
Bledsoe finished with 10 assists and three steals despite landing hard on his left hip with 4:37 to play in the third quarter, the result of some contact with the Nuggets’ Wilson Chandler when going up for a layup.
Bledsoe hobbled back to the Suns’ locker room for treatment, then jogged back out to the bench before the start of the fourth quarter. He’s not expected to miss any time.
The Suns were without leading scorer Isaiah Thomas, who was on the bench in street clothes with his 15.5 points per game and bruised right ankle. He was hurt against Toronto on Monday.
Both teams shot the ball well with plenty of easy baskets in the first quarter. The Suns led 34-30 at the end of the quarter, with centre Alex Len scoring eight points in three minutes of playing time off the bench.
The first half ended tied at 64, with Bledsoe and Aaron Afflalo scoring 14 points each. Afflalo finished with 18 points and Chandler 19 for Denver.
Nuggets: G Randy Foye (right quadriceps injury) and C JaVale McGee (left lower leg strain) did not play. F Danilo Gallinari played nine minutes of the first half but missed the second half with a sore left knee.
Suns: Five Suns entered Wednesday’s game averaging at least 14 points per game. … Dragic was handed a microphone before the game and wished the crowd a happy Thanksgiving. … C Miles Plumlee blocked four shots, a season high.