Nuggets try to build on first win, visit Suns
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Denver Nuggets finally got new head coach Brian Shaw his first win on Thursday, but there is little time to rejoice as the squad heads to Phoenix to meet the Suns on Friday.
The Nuggets knocked off the Atlanta Hawks 109-107 on Thursday at the Pepsi Center. It was Shaw's first victory as a head coach since he replaced NBA Coach of the Year George Karl in the offseason.
"I feel relieved to finally get it," admitted Shaw. "It wasn't easy; nothing is going to be easy for us. With this team, every night is going to be a dog fight. It feels good to finally get one."
Ty Lawson secured the victory for the Nuggets with a banked 3-pointer and a free-throw. The win wasn't easy, as Shaw said, but the Nuggets persevered.
"It was wearing on everybody. Coach Shaw and the assistant coaches had speeches for us today. It was wearing on everybody, so to get this monkey off our back feels good for everyone," Lawson said.
Lawson led six Denver players in double figures with 23 points. He added eight assists and seven rebounds. Nate Robinson, JaVale McGee, Evan Fournier, Randy Foye and Timofey Mozgov also cracked the 10-point mark for a Denver team that won a franchise-best 57 games last season under Karl.
The Suns have gotten off to a surprising start this season. They rank sixth in opponents' scoring and Phoenix's two losses came at Oklahoma City and San Antonio. The Suns were in both games and it took a Herculean effort from Tony Parker to beat Phoenix on Wednesday.
"They're not going to quit," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said about his squad. "That's the big thing. We have a lot of guys who can give us a lift. The key is to play for all 48 minutes. We're a young team and we're going to learn a lot from this."
The Spurs survived 99-96 as Parker scored 15 of his 20 points in the final quarter. He actually had 15 of San Antonio's final 16 points.
Markieff Morris led the Suns with 23 points and 12 rebounds. His twin brother Marcus had 11 off the bench as the second unit combined for 46 points.
Miles Plumlee and Gerald Green each had 15 points and Eric Bledsoe managed 14 points. Goran Dragic has a sprained left ankle, didn't play against the Spurs and is listed as day-to-day.
Phoenix's 3-2 start is the best since the 2009-10 season.
The Nuggets are 8-1 in their last nine against the Suns and have taken three of their last four in Phoenix.
11/08 10:38:48 ET