Denver Nuggets use big second-half run to beat Phoenix Suns 123-113

Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic, center, is fouled as he shoots between Phoenix Suns’ Dragan Bender (35) and Josh Jackson during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP)
Updated 11 February 2018

Denver Nuggets use big second-half run to beat Phoenix Suns 123-113

PHOENIX: Wilson Chandler’s big game Saturday brought back memories.
“It felt like a throw-back,” Chandler said.
It looked like a throw-down.
Chandler scored 26 points, Will Barton had 25 point and the Denver Nuggets used an extended second-half run to take control in a 123-113 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
Nikola Jokic had 21 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, and Gary Harris had 13 points for the Nuggets, who have won four of five.
The Nuggets used a 36-15 run to take a double-digit lead midway through the fourth quarter, and Chandler hit two 3-pointers from the right corner to nail it down after the Suns closed to 109-103 with 4 1/2 minutes remaining.
“Today the ball was finding me,” Chandler said.
Chandler was 11 for 15 from the floor. His previous high this season was 21, and bothered by illness he had only 22 points in the previous four games. He had a career-high 36 against Sacramento last year.
“We don’t win the game without Wilson,” Denver coach Michael Malone said.
“I love it when he is aggressive. Our guys did a great job of finding him, and Wilson did the rest by stepping in and making timely 3s down the stretch.”
TJ Warren had 31 points and Dragan Bender had a career-high 23 for the Suns, who have lost five in a row, 10 of 11 and 13 of 15. One of those wins came in Denver on Jan. 19. Their only other victory in that stretch was against Dallas at home.
Barton scored 11 points during a 21-9 run that gave the Nuggets a 94-89 lead after three quarters, and Denver scored the first five points of the fourth quarter for a 13-point cushion.
Jokic’s 3-pointer from the top of the key made it 109-95 with 6:29 remaining, capping a longer 36-15 run.
Marquese Chriss’ fast-break dunk closed the Suns’ deficit to 109-103 with 4:29 remaining, but Barton hit a 3-pointer and Chandler hit two from the right corner to put away the game.
Elfrid Payton made a strong first impression for the Suns with 19 points, nine assists and six rebounds in 35 minutes. He was acquired from Orlando at the trade deadline Thursday.
“The pace of play was better,” Suns interim coach Jay Triano said.
“He made the guys on the floor with him better. Getting the ball up and down the floor, getting into the lane when he needed to. I think it will only improve as he understands who can do different things for us.”
Josh Jackson had 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
The Suns played without leading scorer Devin Booker, Tyson Chandler and Tyler Ulis.
Booker, who is 12th in the league with 24.1 points per game, has missed the last three games with a hip pointer. Chandler was out with a neck injury and Ulis with back spasms.
Phoenix made a much better showing than in the previous game Wednesday, a 129-81 loss to San Antonio on Wednesday that tied the Suns’ worst ever. They set the record against Portland on opening night this season.


European Ryder Cup stars take aim on 2021 Saudi International

Updated 27 November 2020

European Ryder Cup stars take aim on 2021 Saudi International

  • The February tourney looks set to be one of the strongest events on European Tour schedule

JEDDAH: European Ryder Cup stars Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Tyrrell Hatton, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood join defending champion Graeme McDowell in looking to get their campaign to qualify for the 2021 European Ryder Cup team off to the strongest possible start at the Saudi International.

The tournament, powered by Softbank Investment Advisers, will take place  Feb. 4 -7 at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City.

With world No. 1 and 2020 Masters champion Dustin Johnson and 2020 US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau confirmed for the event, along with reigning Open champion Shane Lowry and US stars Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed, the strength of the field means huge ranking points will be on offer for Europe’s leading golfers as they look to get their 2021 qualifying efforts off to a fast start and secure a coveted place on the 2021 European Ryder Cup team.

With a lineup that looks set to ensure that the Saudi International will be one of the strongest events on the 2021 European Tour schedule, Golf Saudi is looking to build on the momentum resulting from hosting two extremely successful Ladies European Tour events this month as interest and participation in golf continues to grow in the Kingdom.

Fleetwood, a six-time winner on the European Tour and standout player in Europe’s Ryder Cup victory in Paris in 2018, is making his debut this year in the Saudi International. He said: “From all I’ve heard from the lads who played there the last couple of years, the Saudi International has established itself as one of the leading events on the European Tour both in terms of set up and facilities as well as quality of the field, which is really impressive this year.”

Poulter, who played for the first time in the 2020 edition, said: “I really enjoyed the tournament at the beginning of this year and am psyched to be returning next February. The course sets up for my game rather nicely so I was pretty frustrated to only finish in the top 20 and will certainly be aiming to finish rather higher up the leaderboard this year!

“It’s a fantastic championship course with some amazing vistas and I also really like the fact we get to play a part in introducing golf to a whole new audience in a new region. With Ryder Cup qualification on the line, I am obviously looking to get my campaign off to a fast start and getting a decent finish or winning the Saudi International against such a stellar field would be massive.

“It’s been a really weird year with the pandemic so we are all looking forward to a fresh start in 2021 and I am hoping it is also a strong start as I keep my eyes firmly focused on qualifying for the European team at Whistling Straits,” he added.

Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of the Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi, said: “This announcement marks yet another amazing group of golf stars joining our 2021 field and the excitement of all the players to kick off afresh in 2021, in Saudi Arabia, is heartening to hear.

“The lineup for the tournament is looking strong and with more players still to be announced in the coming weeks — and on the back of two excellent Ladies European Tour events earlier this month — we are very much looking forward to the third edition of our tournament. We believe it will be the strongest installment to date and will serve as a fabulous illustration that Saudi Arabia is open for business.”