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NBA Roundup : With Nance's 39 Points, Suns Have a Lot More Bark Than 76ers

December 29, 1987|DAN HAFNER

When injuries decimated the club right from the start of the season, the Phoenix Suns tried to make up for it with aggressive defensive play.

Now that most of the injured players are returning, the hustle is paying off.

Larry Nance scored 39 points and had 10 rebounds Monday night at Phoenix, and the Suns stole the ball 13 times in a surprisingly easy 117-101 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

The aggressive play of the Suns contributed to Charles Barkley's worst night of the season. Barkley, the No. 2 scorer in the league, had only 15 points. He also had more turnovers (six) than rebounds (five). Going into the game, he was averaging 29.3 points and 12.1 rebounds.

Nance was 16 for 21 from the field. He had help from Eddie Johnson (16 points) and Walter Davis (13 off the bench). Both are still below form because of injuries.

"I've been struggling for more than a week," Barkley said. "I thought going on the road would help. It didn't."

Seattle 108, Denver 100--Xavier McDaniel scored 30 points and a tough SuperSonic defense limited the Nuggets to 12 field goals in the second half. McDaniel made his last five shots.

The Nuggets led by as many as 12 points in the first half but turned cold after intermission.

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