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Suns Starters Shine In 122-111 Win Over Portland

The (1-1) Phoenix Suns traveled to take on the (1-0) Portland Trailblazers in their third preseason game. This was not your normal preseason game as Phoenix and Portland were involved in a huge trade less than a month ago.

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Former Suns’ number one overall pick Deandre Ayton was traded to Portland as part of that deal. This is his first game against his former team. He didn’t have much to say about this match-up.

The Suns did not have their full lineup going into this game. Bradley Beal was out with lower back tightness. Grayson Allen and Josh Okogie were out for rest.

The Trailblazers got out to a fast start. Hitting two, three pointers to start the game. The Suns withstood the storm and did not let the game get out of hand. Portland was up 16-12 with 6:52 left in the game. The game had the feel of a regular season game to start.

Deandre Ayton showed some aggressiveness early in this one.

After the fast start by the Blazers, the Suns were able to take the lead behind the offense of Devin Booker. Portland gave Phoenix different looks on defense. Going into a 2-3 zone sometimes, playing tight man to man at other times. It did not matter as Booker was simply unstoppable.

Booker led all scorers with 15 points. Malcolm Brogdon made a huge impact off of the bench for Portland with 13 points. Portland was 40-37 at the end of the first quarter.

The start of the second quarter was back and forth as the Blazers and Suns traded baskets. One thing was very apparent for Portland. They want to run, run, and run some more. They Suns had to get back on defense in a hurry or give up an open shot.

The third overall pick of the 2023 NBA Draft Scoot Henderson was very comfortable on the floor.

He had six points and three assists in the first half.

After the back and forth start to the second quarter. The Suns turned it up on the defensive end which lead to a 10-0 run. Phoenix was up 63-53 with three minutes left in the half.

The Suns continued to create separation as the second quarter continued. It seemed like a blink of the eye and Phoenix was up by 21 points.

Phoenix was up 76-55 at halftime. Eric Gordon led all scorers with 20 points. Booker had 18, Nurkic scored 17, and Durant dropped 16 in the half.

The Phoenix Suns offense was simply incredible.

Jerami Grant and Malcolm Brogdon led the Blazers with 13 points each. Deandre Ayton only had five points in the first half.

Second Half

The Blazers started the second half of on a 9-1 run as Phoenix no longer had their star players in the game. The gap continued to close as the quarter went on.

Portland found themselves only down by three at the end of the third quarter. Suns led 91-88 going into the fourth.

The Suns came out on fire to start the fourth quarter as they went on a 18-3 run.

Udoka Azubuike, Keon Johnson, and Jordan Goodwin led the surge. Phoenix was up 110-97 with just under five minutes left in the fourth quarter. Phoenix would hold on to the lead and win the game, 122-111. The Suns are now (2-1) in the preseason as Portland fell to (1-1).

Players of the Game

This was a total team effort for the Suns but the players who stood out were Eric Gordon, Devin Booker, and Jusuf Nurkic. Gordon scored 20 points on 8/10 shooting from the floor. Booker had 18 points on 7/15 shooting and Nurkic had 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

The players who shined for Portland were Scoot Henderson, Anfernee Simons, Malcolm Brogdon, and Jerami Grant. Henderson finished the game with 22 points on 8/14 shooting. Simons dropped 15 points. Brogdon and Grant each scored 13.

Up Next

The Phoenix Suns and Portland Trailblazers will play against each other again but this time in Phoenix on October 16th. Will Deandre Ayton play? If he does play what will the reception be from the crowd? Will Phoenix play their starters with so much rest in between each game? There are a lot questions but one thing is for certain, the Footprint Center will be jumping on Monday night.

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