The Suns looked to have their hands full Wednesday night, when the Trail Blazers, riding their 11-game win streak, came to town. This is a team that has been on fire for a good while.
Fortunately, the Suns brought the ice water, and crushed Portland 120-106. It started off shaky, and midway through the second quarter, the Suns found themselves down by sixteen points. But the Suns found life. They put up a total of forty points in the second quarter, and didn’t look back in the latter half.
In our keys to the game, we said that the key matchup was Damian Lillard versus Goran Dragic. Whoever scored more and did a better job distributing the basketball would lead his team to a win. Goran Dragic responded to Lillard’s 16 points and one assist by putting up 31 points and 10 assists. The results were clear. We also said that the defense would have to stop Portland from being able to drain threes. The Suns held Portland to 7-19(36.8 percent) from deep in this game.
Besides Dragic having an near career high in scoring, Channing Frye continued his hot streak he started on the Suns road trip. He has averaged nearly 19 points in his last four games, and tonight he dropped in a season high 25 points on 10-12 shooting while also grabbing 10 rebounds. In this game, the Portland defense seemed to lose Channing Frye, and he had two or three shots where he was very, very open. In general, a lack of defensive prowess from the Blazers sealed the win for the Suns. The Blazers looked tired on D and the Suns took advantage of that.
The Morris twins also had nice showings. Marcus put up 15 points, and brother Markieff put up 19. Not only that, but Markieff took several jump shots instead of pushing inside like he usually does.
The one Blazer the Suns had a challenge stopping was LaMarcus Aldridge, who scored 24 points.
Overall, perhaps Portland got a little too cocky, or perhaps the Suns just had one of those good nights. It was likely because Portland has had a tough schedule, and it finally caught up with them. Portland played a 13-man rotation, giving garbage time to some untested players. The Blazers move to 13-3.
The Suns have gotten back over .500 as they improve to 8-7. They will have Turkey Day off before heading to Utah to square off against the Jazz on Friday night for another back to back.