Dennis Johnson scored a game-high 29 points and Alvan Adams had 25 as Phoenix used a strong first period to beat host Denver and even their playoff series at a victory each.

The third and deciding game in the Western Conference miniseries will be played Saturday night in Denver. The winner plays Pacific Division champion Los Angeles.

Phoenix shot 66 percent from the floor in the first period and used a 10-0 run five minutes into the game to go up, 14-4. Johnson had 12 points by period's end as the Suns took a 40-21 lead.

Denver narrowed the deficit to 10 points twice in the second period-- the final time at 62-52 on Billy McKinney's free throws with 1:05 remaining. But back-to-back baskets by Adams, who had 12 second-period points, and Larry Nance's lay-in in a 35-second span made it 68-54 Suns at halftime.

The Nuggets got within 87-82 with 3:45 left in the third quarter on David Thompson's three-point goal.

Phoenix retaliated with eight straight points to take a 95-82 lead into the fourth quarter and coasted from there.