Devin Booker returned from the knee injury that kept him out of the All-Star Game to score 35 points and the Phoenix Suns beat the Portland Trail Blazers 127-121 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.
Chris Paul added 19 points for Phoenix, and Mikal Bridges scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half. Second in the NBA behind the Utah Jazz, the Suns have won 14 of their last 16 games. Damian Lillard had 30 points for Portland, and Enes Kanter added 16 points and 11 rebounds. They had won three in a row.
- Hustle plays
Against the Suns, the Blazers as a whole showed a ton of heart and grit in the game. No matter if it was Nassir Little diving on the ground for the loose ball, Carmelo boxing out a big man for the rebound, or players running the floor. The Blazers showed nothing but heart tonight and even
- The bench showed up tonight
The Blazers bench has had times of inconsistency throughout the season. But tonight, they really came alive. Nassir Little and Carmelo Anthony came out against the Suns and made a huge impact on the game. More importantly, they made a major impact when the Blazers’ all-star Damian Lillard was off the floor.
- Offensive rebounding for Blazers
The rebounding from the Blazers has been an area of struggle due to the injuries for the Blazers big men. But, against the Suns the Blazers had a eye opening 14 rebounds which proved to be a huge boost for the Blazers in the first half to help them take a double digit lead in the first half. Unfortunately for the Blazers though, the Suns were just too good tonight.
- Suns three point shooting
Well, not only are the Suns extremely efficient on defense but, they are extremely good three point shooters. Against the Blazers, the Suns shot an absolutely ridiculous 54% from the three point line and an unreal 59% from the field. Even though the Blazers shot the ball well themselves, they couldn’t overcome the impressive shooting night from the Suns
- Suns fourth quarter
Usually the Blazers find a way to make a big comeback or have themselves a big fourth quarter but in the game against the Suns, it was actually the opposite. The Suns came out and not only made things hard for the Blazers on offense, but the Suns had themselves an impressive 37 point quarter which put a lock on any hopes the Blazers had of walking away with a win.
- Point off turnovers.
The Blazers had a total of 11 turnovers tonight which accumulated to 22 points for the Suns. A big thing is whenever you play an elite team like the Suns, ball security is going to be so crucial since they are able to shoot and defend. The Blazers took care of the ball early in the game, which led to a ten point lead. But, once the Blazers started turning the ball over, that’s when the Suns started to make their run and eventually took the lead and it was over from there.