Phoenix came out swinging in the first half. The starters seemed to unconsciously click, even going on a 10-0 run at one point earlier in the first quarter. Phoenix shot 45 percent overall from the field during the first quarter.
Deandre Ayton found himself in foul trouble early on, which forced him to sit during the final minutes of the quarter. Still, the big man showed off his shooting range early. Ayton knocked down his only three-point attempt in the quarter. Given that Ayton averaged less than one three-point attempt last season, it’s a good showing.
Devin Booker looked spry and eager to get himself going early. He was able to connect on a three-pointer, and he looked in full form as he blew past defenders to get to the free throw line.
Damian Lillard, the main offensive weapon for Portland, didn’t make it easy on Phoenix in the first quarter. Lillard finished the first quarter with 14 points, shooting 4-for-7 from the field. He also knocked down two of his four three-point attempts. Containing Lillard will be imperative for the Suns.
Chris Paul has yet to find his stride on the offensive end, but as a veteran point guard, he’s aware of where he can make an impact. Paul already has a ridiculous five steals through the first half.
Turnovers have been a topic so far during the first half. The Suns have been able to capitalize off of careless mistakes on Portland’s end. Portland has 12 turnovers so far.
The defense on Lillard may have not given the desired results, but Anfernee Simmons has been limited on offense given the Suns’ stifling defense. Simmons has only been able to generate three points while shooting 1-for-7 from the field.
Even so, Lillard may be all Portland needs. The star guard has an astounding 28 points through the first two quarters. Getting other teammates even slightly more involved could spell trouble for Phoenix.