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Reply To: NBA • Thursday Service Plays • 3/10/16

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Preview: Phoenix At Denver

When: 9:00 PM ET, Thursday, March 10, 2016
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

Point guard Brandon Knight could make his return after a 21-game absence when the Phoenix Suns visit the Denver Nuggets on Thursday. Knight has been sidelined with a sports hernia injury and returned to practice earlier this week but opted to sit out Wednesday’s loss to the New York Knicks

The injury to Knight was one of the things that caused Phoenix to go into a deep slide. The Suns emerged from a 2-28 funk with three wins in five games prior to the contest against the Knicks but were routed 128-97 as New York went 16-of-24 from 3-point range. Denver is 3-2 on a seven-homestand after producing back-to-back victories over the Dallas Mavericks and the Knicks. The Nuggets are averaging 115.8 points during their last four games and have scored 100 or more points in seven of the past 10 contests.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona (Phoenix), Altitude (Denver)

ABOUT THE SUNS (17-47): Phoenix was strong at point guard early in the season with both Eric Bledsoe (season-ending knee injury) and Knight but was exceptionally weak at the position with both players sidelined. Interim coach Earl Watson will be coaching his 16th game Thursday and is anxious to integrate Knight into the rotation. “I’m excited to see how Brandon fits into our system,” Watson told reporters. “He hasn’t played for us yet, so I’m curious to see how he responds. I think it’s going to be great. We have nothing but the most positive visions of him fitting in.”

ABOUT THE NUGGETS (26-38): Power forward Kenneth Faried had 24 points and 10 rebounds in the win over the Knicks for his sixth double-double in seven games. The outing followed up a 25-point, season-high 20-rebound showing against Dallas and Faried is averaging 19 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 65.5 percent from the field during the stretch. Faried is picking up some of the scoring slack caused by an ankle injury to leading scorer Danilo Gallinari, who still is about two weeks away from returning.


1. The Suns are 2-1 against the Nuggets this season and have won eight of the past 10 meetings.

2. Phoenix C Tyson Chandler had nine rebounds against New York to become the 50th player in NBA history to top 9,000 career rebounds — he has 9,005.

3. Denver C Nikola Jokic scored 20 points against the Knicks for his fifth consecutive double-digit outing.

PREDICTION: Nuggets 112, Suns 104