The good news is that the Summer Suns played a really great second quarter, outscoring the Blazers 33-13. It was spectacular. Diante Garrett made all five second-quarter shots for a total of 12 points and a +23 point differential while he was on the floor.
The bad news is that all that wonderful play was superceded by an NBA press conference that no one watching this game cared about. So I missed it. Bah.
Instead, we got to see the Blazers win the first period 24-19, and then hang tough in the third quarter making it a close-enough game that Suns fans must have been wondering how their team even had a big lead.
But a big lead it was. The Suns held strong in the third by playing with resolve and energy despite the Blazers playing desperate and getting some opportunistic scores.
The most interesting thing about the late-third period was Markieff Morris' foul trouble. He was collecting fouls like it was regular summer league (max of 10), but suddenly Morris found himself with 4 before he knew what hit him. Luckily the Suns were up 16 at that point.
This was also when Keef had a solid 15 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a blocked shot, while at the same time the NBATV announcer was comparing Portland's Thomas Robinson to Reggie Evans. It's never good when a top-5 pick is compared to Reggie Evans in only his second NBA season.
The fourth was a slopfest while the Suns lost their edge with the second unit, and Portland at one point cut the lead to 9 with 5 minutes left. Will Barton put the Blazers on his back with several drives for scores and free throws.
Luckily, Chris Babb hit a three pointer late in the shot clock just before C.J. McCollum hit one of his own.
When the Blazers came up just short of a steal that resulted in an easy dunk by the Suns, they seemed to lose energy with a couple of quick-shot misses and soon enough the game was over without the Suns starters breaking a sweat.
The Blazers made one more little run while the Suns thought the game was over, but eventually it really was and the Suns were on to the quarter finals on Saturday.