The Phoenix Suns had a growing lead on Wednesday night when Aaron Gordon of the Denver Nuggets tried to get closer to the 3-point line on an offensive possession. He definitely tried. The problem was Jae Crowder had blocked Gordon’s path with his 6-foot-6, 235-pound frame. There were shoving and arguing, and then a flurry of whistles and a slight scuffle erupted about to turn into a crash.
It wasn’t surprising, of course, that Crowder, a striker who moonlights as the Suns’ resident executor, was in the middle of this. Crowder and Gordon were penalized for technical fouls.
“Honestly, it comes to me, I’m not looking for it,” Crowder said of his extracurricular activities. “The other teams just try to be physical with me, try to piss me off. I don’t know if they know that, but I like that style of play. I like to chat. I like it all because it is. definitely keeps me going, and I think my team really feeds off that a bit, the energy that it gives off. “
The Suns are pushing the Nuggets – and Nikola Jokic, the NBA’s most valuable player – in their Western Conference semifinal streak, en route to a pair of lopsided wins before Game 3 Friday in Denver.