Nicolas Batum had 20 points and 7 assists, LaMarcus Aldridge had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers overcame an awful night shooting threes to get revenge on the Phoenix Suns, 108-87, Thursday night at Moda Center.
Both teams started the game slowly, with Portland missing eight of its first ten shots, and Phoenix missing six of their first eight. The Blazers recovered quickly, but the Suns went on a turnover spree, committing eight in the period. Portland used Phoenix's miscues to grab an early 12 point advantage. LaMarcus Aldridge and Batum each had six in the period to lead the Blazers. The 15 points scored by the Suns were the fewest Portland has allowed in the first quarter since the Orlando Magic scored 13 January 10th.
Portland extended their lead to as far as 19 in the second quarter, but both teams suffered an abysmal shooting period. CJ McCollum had 10 in the period on 4-of-6 shooting, but the rest of the team shot just 3-of-13 from the field. Damian Lillard, Batum, and Wesley Matthews combined to shoot 1-of-9. Phoenix shot just 9-of-25, but closed the gap to 11 at halftime.
The Blazers entered meltdown mode in the third quarter, allowing a 16-4 Phoenix run. Their nightmarish night shooting the three continued, as they shot 1-of-9 from long range in the period. Phoenix briefly seized a one point advantage, but Batum fought back for Portland. He led the team in scoring in the period with five, and the Blazers held a one point lead after three.
Portland went for business as usual in the fourth quarter at home this season, shutting off the meltdown switch. The Blazers hit more threes in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter than they had the previous three quarters, with Steve Blake leading the charge. The Blazers ran their lead out to as many as 25 to close out the game.
During the fourth, Aldridge recorded his tenth rebound for his 24th double-double of the season, and the 220th of his career, passing Sidney Wicks for the most career double doubles in Portland Trail Blazers history.
McCollum led the bench scoring with 12. Meyers Leonard had 8 points and 8 rebounds off the bench. Robin Lopez had 11 points and 12 rebounds in his second game back from a broken hand. Lillard shot 0-of-5 from three, and is shooting 2-of-30 from three over his last three games.
BLAZERS WIN! BLAZERS WIN! pic.twitter.com/X99koHugSQ— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) February 6, 2015
Blazers are undefeated in games Rasheed Wallace attends this season.— Mike Richman (@mikegrich) February 6, 2015
Game ball tonight for Blazers goes to Nicolas Batum. He was 6-for-13 and had 20 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds— Jason Quick (@jwquick) February 6, 2015
LaMarcus Aldridge's 19 Pts & 13 Reb lead Blazers over Suns, 108-87. Aldridge now has 220 career double-doubles, most in Portland history.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 6, 2015
LaMarcus Aldridge gets another curtain call this season…this time for his new double-double record. #Blazers— Amy Schwartz (@TheAmySchwartz) February 6, 2015
After outscoring Phoenix by 20 in 4th quarter, Portland has now outscored opponents by 143 points in 4th quarter this year, best in NBA.— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) February 6, 2015
The Shonz hitting Rasheed with the finger gunz pic.twitter.com/DqLrXmTzVH— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) February 6, 2015
LaMarcus @aldridge_12 actively avoided saying "Both teams player hard" in his post-game comments— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) February 6, 2015