The PHOENIX and the DENVER will both be gunning for a victory on 10/20/2018 at 9:05 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
PHOENIX SUNS vs DENVER NUGGETS
When: 9:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 20, 2018
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
|515||PHOENIX||-9.5 (-110)||224.5 (-110)||350
TV: 9:05 PM
PREDICTION: DENVER , PHOENIX
Oddsmakers currently have the DENVER listed as -9.5 point favorites versus the PHOENIX, while the game’s total is sitting at 224.5.
The Denver Nuggets have all the pieces in place to make a run at a playoff spot in the Western Conference and will go as far as their defense takes them. The Nuggets will try to stay strong on that end of the floor and open the season with back-to-back victories when they host the Phoenix Suns on Saturday.
Denver finished one game out of a playoff spot last spring while finishing last in the NBA in defensive field-goal percentage (47.6) but held the Los Angeles Clippers to 39.8 percent from the floor en route to a 107-98 victory to open the 2018-19 campaign on Wednesday. “When you close the game on that kind of a run, that speaks to getting timely defensive stops,” Nuggets coach Mike Malone told reporters. “We did a much better job in the second half of gang rebounding. They only had two second-chance points the whole second half. We valued the ball and guys stepped up and made some big, big plays.” That defense will have to find a way to stop Suns shooting guard Devin Booker, who scored 19 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s 121-100 win over Dallas. “You’re just in that zone, man, trying to win the game,” Booker told reporters. “My idea this year to get the most wins as possible and make the playoffs. We owe that to this city. It’s been a long drought for these fans. I know that comes with a lot of responsibility for me.”
TV: 9 p.m. ET, FS Arizona (Phoenix), Altitude (Denver)
ABOUT THE SUNS (1-0): Booker, who signed a five-year contract extension over the summer to be the centerpiece of the franchise’s rebuild, is getting some help on the interior from No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton. The Arizona product collected 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting, 10 rebounds and six assists in 36 minutes in his NBA debut. “I knew he was something special,” Booker told reporters of Ayton. “I think people are always nervous for their first game. … When you are that talented and have the abilities that he does, the game is just going to come to you.”
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (1-0): Denver’s defensive effort began in the frontcourt on Wednesday, with former All-Star Paul Millsap making up for a 1-of-7 shooting night by grabbing 16 rebounds. “I’ve been around for a while,” Millsap told the Denver Post. “I know when things aren’t going well, when shots aren’t falling, I try to do something else.” The backcourt picked up some of the offensive slack as Will Barton and Gary Harris combined for 39 points and made some key stops, including Harris forcing a turnover down the stretch that helped seal the win.
1. Nuggets C Nikola Jokic collected 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the opener.
2. Phoenix SF Trevor Ariza recorded 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in his team debut.
3. Denver took two of the three meetings last season.
PREDICTION: Nuggets 116, Suns 109