The Suns used an 18-5 run in the first quarter to build a lead over Portland which they never surrendered the rest of the game en route to a 104-93 victory at USAC. The Blazers looked completely overmatched by the Suns' starters for most of the time they were pitted against each other on the court.
The flow of the game was improved from the match against the Kings and the Suns got the fans tacos by breaking the triple digit barrier on 51.2% shooting including 10-20 from three point range. The Suns defense also held their own, holding the Blazers to 38.6% shooting including a 6-24 effort in the first quarter when the Suns set the tone for the rest of the game.
The Suns had another stellar start to the game. They shot 61.1% for the first quarter, including 5-7 from three, and led the disjointed Blazers 28-15.
Scola made several velvety smooth moves around the basket in the early going. He seems to be adapting well and finished with 12 points in just 18 minutes.
Dragic made Lillard look like a rookie.
Brown was strong off the bench, battling through a severe case of "Halloween Eye" to the tune of 12, 4, and 4.
Wes Johnson continued to hoist from outside and was 3-4 from three point range on the way to 12 points. He also pulled down six rebounds.
Auditioning Suns Luke Zeller and Ike Diogu both played well in limited minutes. P.J. Tucker was a hellion in very brief exposure.
Meyers Leonard played above the rim most of the night as he scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds (seven offensive).
Gortat pitched a shutout in the first half and look confused at times. He redeemed himself by scoring seven quick points to start the third quarter and looked more into the flow of the game.
The Suns got owned by Portland on the offensive glass. Leonard led the way with seven as the Blazers secured a dominant 17-9 edge.
Lillard made Marshall look like a rookie.
Morris picked up four fouls in just 3:47 in the first half. He also acquitted himself with a more cautious approach in the second half and finished with a team high 14 points to go with five rebounds.
LaMarcus Aldridge on offense. He was constantly stultified (the Blazer fans don't seem to be smitten with that word) by pesky, incessant defense and double teams. He looked visibly frustrated at times on the way to a poor 4-13 shooting night.
Player of the Game:
Goran Dragic. Many of his nine assists were of the highlight reel variety and he pummeled Lillard in the individual match up. Welcome to the NBA rook.
Comment of the Night:
Can we just sign Zeller, Diogu AND Garret? Rotate them in and out of the D-League. Zeller is a nice stretch big. Garret could be worth developing. And Diogu... well, I just really like Ike.
"I thought we were passive at the beginning of the game. The Suns came out and were the more aggressive team and we got in a hole," said Portland coach Terry Stotts on his team's performance tonight. "We fought back; we got to seven or six a few times, but couldn't quite get over the hump. I was disappointed in the first six minutes where the Suns set the tone for the game."
"We had no energy tonight, sloppy a little bit," said Batum. "Maybe sometimes we get a little bit tired but there are no excuses."
"We started real well. On offense and defense we controlled the game. We still have a long ways to go," said Dragic. "We need that second unit to come off the bench and give us that extra energy and play as hard as possible."