The Phoenix Suns put together a pretty complete game to defeat the Portland Trailblazers 114-87 at US Airways Wednesday night. The Suns shot a season-high 59.7 percent from the field, outscoring the Blazers 54-24 in the paint, and avoided a double-digit deficit for only the second time in 12 games this season. By inserting Shannon Brown and Markieff Morris into the starting lineup, the Suns offense seemed to explode, while the Trail Blazers struggled on both ends. Defensively the Suns held their opponent to a season low of 44 points in the first half, and only 16 points in the fourth quarter. The Blazers committed 22 turnovers and made just 5 of 19 from three.
The Phoenix Suns pulled ahead by eight points early after Shannon Brown and Goran Dragic hit back-to-back three pointers to take a 19-11 lead. Brown led the Suns with eight points, sinking a pair of three pointers in the quarter. Newly inserted starter Markieff Morris added six points in the first, ending the game with a season-high 19 points, including 7 rebounds. Trail Blazers Damian Lillard, who finished with a game-high 24 points, scored 7 of the final 9 for Portland, closing the Suns lead to 29-25 after one.
The Suns held the Blazers to 14 shots and 19 points in the second quarter, garnering six steals and forcing the Blazers into 10 turnovers. The Suns outscored the Trail Blazers in the paint 18-8. Marcin Gortat made an easy bucket to cap off a 9-0 run, and pushed the lead to 15 as he scored 10 of the final 12 points for the Suns in the half. Gortat finished the game scoring a season-high 22 points on 11 of 14 shooting while adding 7 rebounds.
The Suns extended their lead to 21 early in the third after hitting their first four shots, including back-to-back three pointers. The Blazers slowly cut the lead down to 11 after Damian Lillard sank a 25-foot three pointer, but then Goran Dragic got hot. He retaliated with his own three, and proceeded to score 12 of the final Suns 16 points in the quarter. Dragic ended the game scoring 15 points and handing out 8 assists. The Suns scored a season-high 32 in the third quarter, as the new starting rotation seemed to be running on all cylinders. The Suns carried a 79-81 lead into the final period.
The Trail Blazers closed to within 13 points after LaMarcus Aldridge slammed down a driving dunk, but Aldridge would finish the game with only 12 points and 7 rebounds. The Blazers went cold after the dunk, and scored only one basket and four points over the next eight minutes. The Suns made 8 of their next 9 shots as Jermaine O’Neal closed out the quarter scoring 10 points. O’Neal led the Suns bench with 17 points as the Suns walked away with the easy win in the end.
The Suns broke a three game losing trend, and are 4-3 at home this season. The Trail Blazers have dropped 12 of their last 14 in Phoenix, and have not won at US Airways since December 10, 2010. The Suns will finish their two-game home stand against the New Orleans Hornets Friday night before they head out on a grueling six game road trip.