The Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns played down to the wire tonight, then into overtime. With the game on the line, the Suns got physical, the Blazers looked tired, and Portland fell under .500 after Eric Bledsoe swished a desperation three-pointer at the buzzer in overtime.
The Blazers were led by Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Allen Crabbe and Evan Turner.
We’re doing something a little different for tonight’s recap, as we’ll mix in highlight clips along with details about the game.
Fast start for the Blazers’ offense, as they jumped to an early 14-3 lead after two three-pointers McCollum, one from Al-Farouq Aminu, and a long bomb from Lillard. McCollum dominated the Suns through the quarter.
Wet. pic.twitter.com/oHKvpeKt4X— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) November 3, 2016
CJ catches fire, scores 12pts in the first quarter! #RipCity #CSNBlazers https://t.co/gEZpbPbhLn— CSN Northwest (@CSNNW) November 3, 2016
More like Ami-NO pic.twitter.com/H4pOrXVt8h— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) November 3, 2016
The Blazers couldn’t keep the lead though, and it vanished as the bench came in. With one twist: The return of Meyers Leonard into the rotation. It didn’t take long for him to keep the defense honest.
Leonard drills the pick-and-pop three. #RipCity https://t.co/AqdpYbxS1N— CSN Northwest (@CSNNW) November 3, 2016
The teams played even through the rest of the quarter, and finished tied, Portland 28, Phoenix 28.
Turner finds his jump shot, starts the game 3 for 3. #RipCity #CSNBlazers https://t.co/6Z6AGdRGj5— CSN Northwest (@CSNNW) November 3, 2016
Dame starts the give and go, hits the acrobatic layup. #RipCity https://t.co/JKhPOS0Rti— CSN Northwest (@CSNNW) November 3, 2016
The Blazers bench held down the fort in the second quarter, building a 50-43 lead before the Suns scored ten straight points to dampen the mood. Aminu hit another three to tie it up again.
Great ball movement leads to easy Aminu corner three. #RipCity #CSNBlazers https://t.co/NMyqiLxEdd— CSN Northwest (@CSNNW) November 3, 2016
However, Portland promptly gave up four points in the final seconds of the first half, and found themselves in danger of losing to a team who lost their first four games. The score was Phoenix 57, Portland 53.
The second half began similar to the first, as most of the country watched baseball. Moe Harkless made a nice move, and the Blazers stayed close.
Harkless goes lefty off the window. #RipCity https://t.co/HmobR4GNEP— CSN Northwest (@CSNNW) November 3, 2016
Plumlee with the two-handed flush. #RipCity https://t.co/HB1N7i4Do8— CSN Northwest (@CSNNW) November 3, 2016
Similar to the first quarter, as the bench entered the game, the score slowly moved in Phoenix’s favor. A tough break led to a three-point play for Alex Len, followed by a Len block on McCollum. Ed Davis found the bottom of the net, and Portland stayed within one score after three quarters. Phoenix 76, Portland 73.
The first-half template continued in the second. Portland tied it up with an Allen Crabbe three-pointer, and again with another from CJ McCollum.
3J ties the game at 81 pic.twitter.com/BDW3AObycx— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) November 3, 2016
Suddenly, the Suns went cold from the field. Portland struggled as well, but they weren’t ready for Leonard. He swished a three, and followed it up with a sweet pass to Crabbe for a layup. The Suns called timeout after falling behind by five.
Crabbe cuts backdoor, Leonard finds him with a beautiful pass. #RipCity https://t.co/bVcyyInRnq— CSN Northwest (@CSNNW) November 3, 2016
The Suns continued to miss, and Lillard’s layup pushed Portland’s lead to 7 with less than six minutes remaining. Phoenix responded, cutting the lead to 1 twice. With less than three minutes left, the Suns took the lead with a layup. But McCollum responded with a layup while getting fouled. Lillard followed it with a reverse layup, for a four-point Blazers lead with 2 minutes to play. The Suns challenged, but Lillard added a mid-range jumper, but missed a three-pointer to seal the game. Lillard then tried to draw a charge, but instead gave up a three-point play.
Portland stayed ahead by one, but a poor shot from Lillard led to a Phoenix break and a foul. They made one of two, to give the Blazers possession in a tie game, with 15 seconds remaining. Lillard got the ball, and tried to split the screen, but the Suns poked at the ball and forced the turnover. Bledsoe took the ball to the hole, and hit a layup with 1 second left. The Blazers tried the same inbound move they used against Denver to free Lillard, but Phoenix sniffed it out. However, they were not prepared for the reverse Meyers Leonard roll.
The teams headed to overtime, Portland 103, Phoenix 103.
Lillard opened the overtime with a layup, but Phoenix responded. Lillard and McCollum missed on consecutive possessions, and a Suns’ layup gave them the lead. A floater gave the Suns a four point lead, but Crabbe passed to Leonard for a dunk to keep it close.
Leonard smash! #RipCity #CSNBlazers https://t.co/2d5fzAVFWH— CSN Northwest (@CSNNW) November 3, 2016
The game got physical, and Portland struggled to respond. McCollum had a chance to cut the lead in half, but jumped in the air with nowhere to go, and turned it over. Portland started fouling to stop the clock.
Down six, Harkless took it to the hole, and converted a three-point play to cut the deficit in half with 36 seconds left. The Suns ate up some clock, then missed a three, with a chance to tie, Lillard took it to the hole, heard a whistle... and laid the ball gently into the hoop. The free throw tied the game with six seconds remaining.
With the game on the line, they went to a desperation three-pointer from Eric Beldsoe... and it rattled in as time expired. And the reeling Blazers headed to the airport.
Eric Bledsoe FOR THE WIN! https://t.co/ykv6k1Ueyd— NBA TV (@NBATV) November 3, 2016
The Blazers are back in action Friday night, in Dallas against the Mavericks. Stay tuned tonight though, we’ll have further game analysis from Dan Marang.