NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Phoenix 32 23 26 14 95
Denver 37 33 28 34 132
6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)03:0021:00 ET8:00 PM CTNaN:� , January 25, 2019
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado  Attendance: 17,425

Nuggets without Jokic as Suns visit

According to STATS
According to STATS

Phoenix Suns at Denver Nuggets

  1. The Suns have lost six games in a row, allowing opponents to score 121.8 points per game over that time. Phoenix is 1-29 (.033) when allowing at least 115 points -- only Cleveland (0-22) has a worse mark in such games this season.
  2. The Nuggets allowed 19 made three-pointers in their most recent game, a 114-108 loss at Utah. Denver is 14-13 (.519) this season when allowing at least 10 three-pointers, and 17-2 (.895) when allowing fewer than 10. Only Boston (17-0) has a better record than Denver when allowing fewer than 10 three-pointers.
  3. Devin Booker is averaging 25.1 points and 6.9 assists since December 15. He is one of three players, along with James Harden and Damian Lillard, averaging at least 25.0 points and 6.0 assists over that time.
  4. Nikola Jokic is currently averaging 10.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists this season. Only three players in NBA history have averaged at least 10.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists over a full season: Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain and Russell Westbrook (min. 70% team games played).
  5. As of today, Denver has the third-youngest active roster with an average age of 24 years and 278 days. The Suns have the fourth-youngest active roster with an average of 24 years and 295 days.
  6. Denver has won two of three against Phoenix this season, but the Suns won the most recent matchup on January 12, 102-93. The Nuggets have won five of their last six home games against the Suns, shooting 50.9 percent overall and 40.9 percent from three in those games.

The Denver Nuggets won't have star center Nikola Jokic for Friday night's home game against the Phoenix Suns.

Jokic was suspended one game without pay for leaving the bench Wednesday night during an altercation between teammate Mason Plumlee and Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors, the league announced Friday.

Plumlee was fined $25,000 and Favors assessed $15,000. Both players were ejected.

Jokic took steps off the bench along the baseline during the altercation but said he didn't step on the court.

The 23-year-old Jokic leads the Nuggets in scoring (19.8 points per game), rebounds (10.3) and assists (7.7). He has played in all 46 games for the Nuggets, who sit in second place in the Western Conference, two games behind the Golden State Warriors.

The Nuggets have the best home record (20-4) in the conference. Denver's win totals since the 2014-15 season have increased from 30 to 33 to 40 to 46 last season.

Phoenix is last in the West and headed toward another lottery pick, having lost six games in a row. However, the Suns have two building blocks -- guard Devin Booker and rookie center Deandre Ayton -- whom any team in the league would covet.

After Booker scored 27 points in the Suns' 120-106 loss to the Trail Blazers on Thursday, he is averaging 24.3 points and 6.8 assists per game.

Ayton missed his third consecutive game with a sore ankle, though he was a game-time decision the past two contests. He is averaging 16.4 points and 10.6 rebounds.

Dragan Bender has started while Ayton has been out, and the third-year man has held his own against Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns and Portland's Jusuf Nurkic. Bender produced back-to-back double-doubles against the Timberwolves on Sunday (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Tuesday (13 and 10), then scored 17 points Thursday.

He vows to be ready if Ayton is not.

"Get in. Be professional. Do your work. Do what you need to do," Bender said. "Be prepared for whatever happens. Just have got to be ready and do your job."

What is certain for the Suns is they will be without T.J. Warren, who will miss at least two weeks with an ankle injury sustained Tuesday. Warren is averaging 18 points per game this season.

Denver has become one of the league's best on the defensive end, allowing just over 106 points per game. Opponents are making only 34.1 percent of their 3-point attempts, and their rebound differential is plus-4.9, both figures ranking with the NBA leaders.

Yet after the loss to Utah, Denver's defense came under fire. The Jazz made 13 3-pointers in the first half and 19 in the game.

"I think we had to play eight games in 11 days or something, or eight games in 12," Nuggets forward Torrey Craig said, according to the Denver Post. "So after a while, it's effort. It's being tired, mentally, physically. (You) just have to stay locked in and push through it."

Malone lamented that his team sometimes plays down to the opponent's level and other times the Nuggets think they can win with better offense.

"The defense is not where it needs to be," Malone said, according to the Post. "Especially with the quality of games that we have left on our schedule."

--Field Level Media

Updated January 25, 2019

Sports Data API Powered by STATS © 2019 by STATS.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.