Phoenix Suns blow out Nuggets in NBA opener

( dpa ) – The Phoenix Suns quickly knocked off a report in a recent Yahoo report questioning their locker room atmosphere on Saturday, by scoring a 128-98 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

James Harden led the visiting Nuggets with 23 points and led a strong third quarter from his team, which trailed 72-51 at halftime.

But the Phoenix starters were nearly unstoppable in the second half and the defending Western Conference champs improved to 12-0 with the 12th straight win of the season.

Zach Randolph scored 26 points and added eight rebounds, Shannon Brown had 17 points and a career-high-tying seven assists and Eric Bledsoe added 17 points for the Suns.

A playoff team last season, Denver dropped its fifth consecutive game, falling to 2-6 on the year.

Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points in the opening quarter for the Nuggets but did not have another basket for nearly 16 minutes. He was held scoreless on 0-for-5 shooting in the final three quarters.

The Suns led 64-56 at halftime and pushed their lead to 64-57, the largest deficit of the game for the Nuggets, on a three-pointer by Phoenix’s Steve Nash at 3:35 of the third quarter.

Phoenix built the lead to 76-56 at the end of the third period and pushed it to 100-74 at 2:49 of the fourth.

A Markel Brown three-pointer gave the Suns their biggest lead of the game at 107-76 at 9:24 of the fourth quarter.

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