Nuggets Vs. Suns: Nene Crushes Phoenix, Continues Denver's Run

Nene scored 22 points in 26 minutes to lead the Denver Nuggets past the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are famously thin up front; even the addition of Marcin Gortat, a legit defender, could do little to slow Denver's Brazilian beast. Nene hit nine of 12 shots and picked up three steals. Ty Lawson added 20 for the Nuggets, who scored 1.11 points per possession, a bit above league average for offensive efficiency.

Phoenix struggled to get its excellent offense on track, partly because of Nene and Kenyon Martin (still one of the better defensive frontcourts in the league) and partly because of Steve Nash's nagging groin injury, which held the two-time MVP to just four field goal attempts and 27 minutes. Gortat was the Suns' high scorer, and that tells you all you need to know.

Aaron Brooks is still finding his way as Nash's back-up; the former Rocket played 20 minutes, shooting 3-9 and dropping seven assists. In the meantime, Phoenix is three wins behind Memphis for the final playoff spot in the West. Denver is sitting in the No. 5 spot.

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