Kiki Vandeweghe, who had a career-high 49 points, made a three-point basket, then converted a three-point play with 25 seconds left to give the Nuggets a 127-125 victory yesterday over the Phoenix Suns in Denver.
Vandeweghe made the three-point shot with a minute left, pulling Denver within 125-123. After Phoenix failed to score, Vandeweghe scored on a layup, was fouled and made the ensuing free throw to put the Nuggets ahead by one.
Alex English's free throw provided the final margin as the Suns' Larry Nance missed on a shot that would have tied the score.
Dan Issel scored 23 points for the Nuggets and English 19. Nance was the top Phoenix scorer with 26 points and Walter Davis had 23.
The Suns (19-13) had won six of their last seven entering the game.
Denver Coach Doug Moe was ejected midway through the fourth quarter after receiving two technical fouls. Issel also had a technical.
"We needed to win badly, and the guys did an unbelievable job," said Moe, whose team is 14-17. "This should really give the guys confidence." The Nuggets trailed by 12 points midway through the final period.
Of his 49 points, Vandeweghe said, "The reason I'm scoring more now is that everyone is keying on Alex and Dan. As a result, I'm getting more shots."