The Suns shook off some early game rust (typical for any team coming back from a break) to secure their 25th win of the season. This makes it 5 straight wins for Phoenix heading into a home game versus the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.
This is simply just very exciting basketball to watch, it’s been an absolute joy to watch them rattle off win after win this season. Fighting back from multiple double-digit deficits against a playoff team is not an easy thing to do.
The Suns improve to 25-11
Final: Suns 127 | Blazers 121
• Booker: 35pts, 5rebs, 8asts
• Paul: 19pts, 5rebs, 7asts
• Bridges: 18pts, 4rebs, 2asts
• Payne: 13pts, 3rebs, 6asts
• Crowder: 13pts, 7rebs
• Saric: 11pts, 5rebs, 2asts
• Ayton: 11pts, 4rebs
— Inside The Sun (@_insidethesun) March 12, 2021
The start of the game featured Portland and Phoenix trading punches, with Damian Lillard commanding plenty of defensive attention which led to a heap of open looks for Enes Kanter.
Mikal Bridges played his usual stellar (annoying) full-court defense and made some timely cuts per usual in transition that led to easy buckets.
Devin Booker also made this Steve Nash-like pass.
Heading into the 2nd quarter, the Suns trailed 33-30 despite Cam Payne’s 8 quick points on just 3 shots in 5 minutes in the opening quarter.
The back and forth affair continued early in the 2nd quarter as the Suns second unit + Chris Paul in the staggered non-Booker minutes fought hard.
Portland’s hot shooting from deep extended the lead to 47-37 leading to a Monty Williams timeout.
Guarding the three-point line has been a strength of the Suns, but not early on as the scorching Blazers were 10-for-20 (50%) from deep.
Mikal Bridges’ off-ball movement was incredible, as nearly all 16 of his first-half points were a direct result of his cutting, relocating, or leaking out in transition.
Mikal Bridges has 16 first-half points on 8 shots, and all of them are a direct result of him moving without the ball.
Cutting, relocating, leaking out in transition. He is deadly without the basketball in his hands.
— Zona (@AZSportsZone) March 12, 2021
A very strong close to the quarter cut into the Portland lead in a flurry, heading into the half tied at 60-60 in a game that felt like a blowout up until the final 90 seconds of the 2nd quarter or so.
Portland’s hot three-point shooting continued as they built a 9-point lead in large part due to Dame’s shooting gravity creating easy looks for others.
Lillard started to get in his rhythm offensively, which isn’t ideal in a game where Portland had a comfortable lead. My key to the game in the preview was not letting Portland hang around for “Dame Time”, and they failed to do so.
The Blazers were winning the 50/50 balls, hustling harder, and crashing the glass. Those little plays certainly added up and have normally been a strong suit for the Suns, but not tonight.
Portland extended its lead to 11, 90-79 with 3:30 left in the third quarter.
Devin Booker slowly started to heat up at the end of the third, piling up 26 points heading into the final period. The Suns made another late quarter run to cut the Blazers lead down to 4, 94-80 heading into the 4th.
Chris Paul made a pair of critical plays on consecutive possessions, draining a three-pointer when it was just a two-point game, then drew a savvy foul on Carmelo to get two free throws, going on a 5-0 scoring run himself.
Devin Booker checks in. Devin Booker scores 5 points in two possessions. The Suns’ closers stepped up big to extend the lead to 10, forcing a Terry Stotts timeout.
Cameron Payne also had another tremendous game, going for 13 points in 20 minutes on 4-for-5 shooting with 3 threes and 6 assists.
There was a scary moment late in the 4th, as Booker appeared to bump knees with Derrick Jones Jr. and grimaced in pain, but stayed in the game to close things out.
Book goes knee-to-knee again on the left knee. That’s what initially brought that on. That had to really really hurt. He went down holding it and then limped his way to the bench.
— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) March 12, 2021
The Suns pulled out the win, 127-121 despite a fairly disappointing start to the game, they shook off the rust.
Star of the Game
Devin Booker— 35 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds on 12/21 shooting (3/5 3PFG, 8/8FT).
Suns vs. Pacers (8 PM)