Preseason: Danilo Gallinari returns as Denver Nuggets fall to Phoenix Suns


Oct 10, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) and Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari (8) and Phoenix Suns center Miles Plumlee (22) go after a loose ball during the first half at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets fell to the Phoenix Suns in preseason action Friday night, 97-89. Even though Denver lost, they got an important member of their team back in the lineup — Danilo Gallinari.

Gallinari played in his first NBA game since Apr. 5th, 2012 where he tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in a regular season game against the Dallas Mavericks at the Pepsi Center.

Gallo played just 14 minutes Friday night as Brian Shaw will eventually push up the minutes game-by-game. In his limited play, Gallo had himself a ballgame. The forward recorded 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting, knocking down 2-of-4 from beyond-the-arc. Gallinari also went to the charity stripe seven times, cashing in five of them.

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Rookie center Jusuf Nurkic continues to stand out. He still has a lot to work on as he is very raw but shows he’s very active on the boards. Nurkic was ESPN’s top performer of the night for Denver, collecting 8 points on 4-of-7 shooting, hauling down 12 rebounds with a block.

Phoenix had five players score in double-figures as Goran Dragic and Markieff Morris led the way scoring 12 points a piece. Timofey Mozgov had a solid game for Denver, proving he is more than ready for the starting center role. Mozzy finished the game with 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting, collecting 6 rebounds and 1 steal.

Nate Robinson made his return after suffering an ACL tear of his own last January, scoring 2 points on 1-of-4 shooting in just nine minutes of action