The Phoenix Suns got their first win of the 2012-2013 season on Friday night; not technically but they did. The Suns dominated the Portland Trail Blazers at the U.S Airways on Friday night 104-93. The score doesn’t tell the story as the Blazers never led at any point during the evening and trailed by about 8-10 points throughout nearly the entire game.
Second year player Markieff Morris shined as he scored 14 points in 16 minutes, Shannon Brown and Wesley Johnson both contributed 12 points off the bench including 4 3 pointers and 13th overall pick Kendall Marshall had 4 assists on the night.
The Suns played much better last night on both ends of the floor. On the defensive end in particular, the Suns were successful in containing all-star big man LaMarcus Aldridge; holding him to 11 points on 4-13 shooting. The Suns also did a great job against the Blazers starting back court holding Wesley Matthews and 6th overall pick in the 2012 draft Damian Lillard to 23 points combined on 7-20 shooting from the field. In fact the Suns were able to hold off the entire team, limiting the Blazers to 39% shooting on the night and 28% from the 3-point line.
Offensively the Suns were fantastic. The Suns shot 51% from the field, made 10 three pointers in 20 attempts, and had 30 assists as a team. Goran Dragic did a fine job running the team dishing out 9 assists in only 30 minutes of play, Jared Dudley and Marcin Gortat contributed 9 points each. Michael Beasley scored 10 and Luis Scola scored 12.
The Suns bench stole the show on Friday night scoring 56 points. Wesley Johnson carried his shooting stroke over from his previous game against the Kings when he scored 18 points most of which were off of jumpers. Shannon Brown also played exceptionally well; we saw a glimpse of the Suns new offense when Brown got two easy lay-ups off stagger screens in the paint.
Markieff Morris has displayed great shooting touch thus far this season, from summer league to preseason. Morris scored 5 quick points as soon as he came into the game off two jumpers but played limited minutes due to foul issues. Morris’ scoring ability will be of great value to the Suns this season but he’s got to stay away from fouls if he wants to stay on the floor for a long period of time.
The Suns have the next 4 days off as they don’t play the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas until Wednesday. Alvin Gentry will look for the Suns to carry their great play from tonight into Dallas, hopefully into and throughout the 2012-2013 regular season.