Final Score: Phoenix 104, Portland 91
Phoenix, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Goran Dragic registered 26 points and nine
rebounds as the Phoenix Suns defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 104-91, in
their season opener at US Airways Center.
Eric Bledsoe had 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting for new coach Jeff Hornacek.
Miles Plumlee and PJ Tucker both dropped a career-high 18 points, with
Plumlee grabbing 15 rebounds as Phoenix snapped a three-game losing streak in
"Miles, he is just an athletic guy. You do not have to run a lot of things for
him," Hornacek said of Plumlee. "He just did a nice job of really being active
out there and putting pressure on their defense."
Damian Lillard poured in a game-high 32 points and made 6-of-12 shots from
beyond the arc in defeat. LaMarcus Aldridge netted 28 points while Nicolas
Batum had 13 rebounds.
The Trail Blazers have now lost a franchise-record 14 straight games dating
back to last season.
"The Phoenix Suns outplayed us," Portland head coach Terry Stotts admitted.
"They were ready from the get go. They got out and ran."
Plumlee scored 10 points in the first quarter as Phoenix jumped out to an
early 30-16 lead. An alley-oop from Bledsoe to Plumlee with 4:19 left in the
frame highlighted a 14-2 run by the Suns.
Lillard, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year, scored 16 points in the second
frame. Lillard connected on three 3-pointers over Portland's final three
possessions to cut the Suns' lead down to 50-46 at the half.
Portland got within one on a jump shot from Batum early in the third, but
Phoenix scored 12 consecutive points, with Channing Frye and Dragic each
draining 3-pointers to maintain the lead.
Phoenix took an 81-69 advantage into the fourth quarter. Bledsoe threw a quick
pass up court to Dragic for a dunk which gave the Suns a 96-87 lead with 3:53
The Trail Blazers could not gain any ground offensively in the final frame.
Lillard provided most of the offense with nine points, knocking down the
team's only 3-pointer in the fourth with 3:32 remaining.
Phoenix was without forward Markieff Morris as he served a one-game suspension
for elbowing Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka in a preseason game ... Phoenix has
won four of the last five meetings between the two teams ... The Suns have won
five straight home games against Portland ... Phoenix is now 15-7 in home
10/31 01:50:35 ET
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