Trying to avenge a season opening loss to Portland, the Suns traveled back to the Rose Garden to face the Blazers. Owning a 9 point lead in the fourth quarter, the Blazers overcame that deficit with Nicolas Batum leading the team to a 106-99 victory. The loss for the Suns snapped a 3 game winning streak.
The Suns trailed by as many as 12 points, but a second half surge sparked by Steve Nash gave them the lead to end the third. He had 8 assists that period, finishing with 15 and 24 points. In the fourth, Portland held its own and managed to find a run in them. They were able to tie the game with a Batum layup, followed by LaMarcus Aldridge sinking in two freethrows to make it 91-89. On the ensuing possession, Channing Frye fouled out going for a dunk, and the Suns lost a second chance to tie the game when Steve Nash missed a crucial layup. The daggar came when Batum goes the distance from the assist by Brandon Roy to expand the lead to 7, putting the game out of reach.
The Blazers were able to win without the help of Andre Miller. Miller was suspended for ´´excessive and unnecessary contact´´ with Los Angeles Clippers rookie Blake Griffin. The suspension snapped his consecutive games streak at 632, which was the longest active streak in the NBA. Three players though for Portland finished with 20 or more points. Wesley Mathews had 24, while Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 each. The Blazers were also able to make 32 of their 33 freethrows, and exploded in the fourth to use that in their advantage and scored 37 points in the process. Grant Hill of the Suns earned himself 23 points with 8 rebounds , but it wasn’t enough as cold shooting in the fourth set them back.
The Blazers Thursday have a date with the Orlando Magic, while the Suns host Memphis tomorrow.
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Written by Manny Nunez