Lillard scores 31, Blazers beat Suns 118-111
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 17, 2018 01:33 PM
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, center, shoots over Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson, left, and Phoenix Suns guard Tyler Ulis, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
By Anne M. Peterson, Associated Press
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 31 points and the Portland Trail Blazers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 118-111 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time).
CJ McCollum had 27 points, including six three-pointers, and the Trail Blazers led by as many as 27 points in third quarter.
Devin Booker had 43 for the Suns, who have lost three straight and five of their last six.
Booker rallied the Suns in the final quarter with 21 points. His three-pointer got the Suns within 103-93 with just over seven minutes left and Portland coach Terry Stotts put his starters back in.
Booker hit another three-pointer to narrow Portland's lead to 107-99. McCollum answered with a basket, and Portland got a stop before Al-Farouq Aminu's triple from the corner with 3:30 left.
Another three-pointer by Aminu put Portland up 117-105 with 1:12 left and put the game out of reach.
Booker finished with five three-pointers, four of them in the fourth quarter alone.
It was Portland's first game back home after a four-game road trip. The Blazers dropped consecutive games to Houston, New Orleans and Minnesota.
The Suns were without Marquese Chriss for the third straight game because of a right hip strain. Dragan Bender started in his place.
Phoenix was also without T.J. Warren because of low back soreness. Both Chriss and Warren were considered day-to-day.
Portland's Shabazz Napier, who has helped give the Blazers a spark off the bench, was available after nursing a lower back strain. He had his back wrapped with an ice pack while the team warmed up for the second half. Napier finished with 11.
Lillard hit a three-pointer with the first shot of the game, and the Blazers opened 8 for 8 from the field. Lillard finished the opening quarter with 12 points, second only to Booker with 13.
Pat Connaughton's three-pointer put the Blazers up 45-36, and McCollum hit a three-pointer to stretch the lead to 66-51 going into the half. Lillard and Booker each finished the half with 20 points.
Portland pulled away in the second half, going up 80-56 after McCollum's steal and layup. The Suns opened the half just 1-of-13 from the field.
The game got a bit testy in the fourth quarter, when Maurice Harkless and Booker exchanged words. Both were given technical fouls.
Troy Daniels finished with 18 points off the bench for Phoenix.
The teams met in the season opener in Phoenix, with the Blazers winning 124-76 for the worst loss in Suns' history. Portland won the second meeting 114-107 in Portland on Oct. 28 (Oct. 29, PHL time).
Suns: It was the first of a four-game road trip for the Suns. ... Going into the game, Phoenix was 4-4 on the road in the Western Conference.
Trail Blazers: McCollum's career-high for three-pointers is seven. ... Portland has traditionally enjoyed a strong home-court advantage, but this season was 10-10 going into Tuesday's (Wednesday, PHL time) game. The victory gave the Blazers a four-game winning streak at the Moda Center.
Suns: Visit the Denver Nuggets on Friday (Saturday, PHL time).
Trail Blazers: Host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday (Friday, PHL time).