Blazers outlast Suns, 124-121, to avenge recent loss


PORTLAND Ore -- Guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 71 points as the Portland Trail Blazers outlasted the Phoenix Suns 124-121 on Tuesday night at the Moda Center.

Lillard scored 22 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter and McCollum had 18 of his 33 points in the first quarter for the Trail Blazers (5-3) who won their third straight game.

Eric Bledsoe scored 31 points and Devin Booker added 23 for the Suns (2-6).

McCollum had 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting to go with five rebounds and five assists as Portland took a 63-55 advantage into intermission. Lillard added 12 points for the Blazers who shot 60.5 percent for the half.

Booker led the Suns with 11 points making 5 of 8 shots from the field at the break.

Phoenix was within 72-64 midway through the third quarter but Portland used a 7-0 spurt to make it 79-64. The Blazers' edge was 89-82 going into the final period.

The Suns went on an 11-4 tear that tied the game at 93 with 7:54 to go. But Lillard buried a long 3-pointer made a pair of foul shots and bombed in another long 3 to make it 101-95 with 6:44 remaining. Phoenix hung in and a driving score by Bledsoe cut Portland's lead to 111-107 with 2:14 left.

Lillard banked a couple of free throws to make it 113-107 but P.J. Tucker followed suit to cut the difference to 113-109 with two minutes to go. Bledsoe's 3-point shot trimmed the margin to 113-102 with 1:26 to play.

Maurice Harkless' follow shot gave Portland a 115-112 lead with 1:04 left. Bledsoe was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made two from the line with 57.7 seconds remaining to make it 115-114. Lillard converted a drive for a 117-114 advantage with 42 seconds on the clock. Bledsoe was back at the line for two and made them both to cut the edge to 117-116 with 32.7 seconds to go.

Lillard's two gifters increased Portland's advantage to 119-116 with 13.3 seconds left. Bledsoe followed with two at the line and it was 119-118 with 11.4 seconds remaining.

McCollum sank one free throw for a 120-118 Portland lead and Lillard rebounded the miss. He knocked down two at the line with 8.6 seconds left but Booker bombed in a long 3 and the Blazers' lead was 122-121 with 4.6 ticks left.

Lillard was back at the line and made two more for a 124-121 lead with 3.7 seconds left. Booker's desperation 3 at the buzzer was short.

McCollum was on fire at the start and his teammates were right there with him as Portland burst to a 33-15 lead on 14-of-15 shooting in the game's first seven minutes. McCollum was 7 for 7 from the field including 3 for 3 from 3-point range and had 18 points at that point. The Blazers wound up with a 42-25 advantage after one quarter while shooting 72 percent.

Portland led 63-55 at the half.

NOTES: Phoenix F Marquese Chriss a 6-foot-10 rookie who turned 19 in July was to make his first career tonight. The Suns' starting shooting guard Devin Booker turned 20 on Oct. 30. "We understand age is a challenge for us but we don't accept that " coach Earl Watson said. "We may have one of the youngest teams to take the floor in the NBA today and we're fine with that." ... Watson finished his 13-year playing career with a single season with Portland in 2013-14. He forged a special relationship with Portland G Damian Lillard then a second-year player. "The shot Dame hit to beat the Rockets (in the playoffs) that year was once-in-a-lifetime " Watson said. "He does it a lot. I guess he has nine lives." ... The Suns beat the Blazers 118-115 when G Eric Bledsoe buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer in overtime last Wednesday at Talking Stick Resort Arena. ... Portland is 11-3 at home against Phoenix dating to the start of the 2008-09 season.

 

 


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