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On New Year’s Day, Suns defeat Trail Blazers 109-88 to begin 2024

© Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Flipping the calendar to 2024, the Phoenix Suns (18-15) did not miss a step as they beat the Portland Trail Blazers (9-23) 109-88, extending their winning streak to four consecutive games.

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Without Kevin Durant due to right hamstring tightness, the Suns were missing one of the “Big 3″ once again. In Durant’s absence, Bradley Beal collected 21 points and Jusuf Nurkic added 18. On the night, Devin Booker had 10 points in the victory.

The Trail Blazer came out the gate streaking, converting at a 50% field goal clip to lead 29-20. Jerami Grant led all players with nine points in the first-12 minutes.

As the second quarter was about to commence, Bol Bol checked into the ballgame and this alteration instantly changed the flow and rhythm of the game for Phoenix.

In his first year in the valley, Bol had six points as a season high.

In the second quarter alone tonight, the 7’3” big man had five points, including a Euro-step leading to a dunk.


*Video via Phoenix Suns official X (formerly Twitter) account @Suns*

By head coach Frank Vogel turning to Bol, the Suns would go on a 14-0 run and outscore Portland 35-18, leading 55-47 at halftime. Bol finished with 11 points.

“He’s (Bol’s) been working hard to just play the game with discipline,” Vogel said. “Little fouls, little turnovers, shot selection. He obviously has a lot of talent, and great length. I thought he played a really solid game.”

From then onwards, Phoenix manhandled the Trail Blazers, being up as much as 26.

Portland had a few spurts in the game in which they would regain control, but by going 26.7% from three and the Suns outrebounding them 47-36, the game fell out of their grasp as it progressed.

Trail Blazers rookie Scoot Henderson led his team with 17 points while Grant grabbed 15 in the loss.

When asked about what has changed about the Suns’ during this recent stretch, Nurkic had one answer.

“Bradley Beal,” Nurkic said. “Bradley Beal changed everything for our group. People don’t understand. It’s just simple. Him just being out there makes a big difference for us.”

Phoenix will continue their six-game homestand when they welcome ASU alum James Harden and the Los Angeles Clippers (19-12) to Footprint Center on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

On the other hand, Portland look to bounce back from this evening’s defeat with a matchup against the Dallas Mavericks (19-15) on Jan. 3.

Bradley Beal achieved monumental accomplishment vs. Magic

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Alec Cipollini is a reporter of the Arizona Coyotes and Cardinals for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account @AlecCipollini

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