Michael Beasley scores 29 points as Suns scorch Nuggets
Phoenix, AZ, United States (4E Sports) – Michael Beasley fired 29 points and Goran Dragic added 13 points and six assists as the Phoenix Suns closed preseason with an 88-72 triumph over the short-handed Denver Nuggets Friday at US Airways Center.
Beasley, who signed a three-year deal worth $18 million, buried 13 of 21 shots and also had 10 rebounds in 34 minutes of action to help the Suns (4-3) remain spotless in three home games. Phoenix will open the regular season Oct. 31 against the Golden State Warriors.
The Nuggets (3-4), who suffered a fourth straight loss after three consecutive wins, got 15 points from reserve shooting guard Jordan Hamilton while Kenneth Faried was the only starter in double digits with 12 points and six rebounds.
Veteran playmaker Andre Miller issued nine assists while power forward Anthony Randolph contributed 10 markers and eight caroms for the Nuggets, who played without starters Andre Iguodala and Danilo Gallinari.
The Nuggets have the Philadelphia 76ers as their first regular-season assignment Oct. 31.
Beasley scored 18 points in the first half, including eight straight in the second quarter to give the Suns a 41-39 lead.
He added a jumper while Dragic contributed two foul shots to put the Phoenix in front, 51-46, at the half.
The Suns took advantage of the Nuggets’ 4-for-22 field goal shooting in the third period to take a 67-57 lead behind Beasley’s jumper.
In the fourth, the Nuggets closed the gap to 67-60 after a three-pointer by Hamilton but the Suns responded with an 8-0 blast capped by a three-pointer by Beasley to put the game away.
Meanwhile, the Suns announced that they have exercised the 2013-14 option on the contract of forward Markieff Morris, the team’s 13th overall pick last season.
In his rookie season, the 6-10, 245-pound Morris averaged 7.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 0.67 blocks and 0.65 steals in 19.5 minutes in 63 games, one of just six NBA rookies to average at least seven points