[Note from the editors — thanks to Dave King for providing us a live on-site report from Phoenix!]
Hey there! Dave King here, from your friendly neighborhood Suns blog, BrightSideoftheSun.com. Watching Suns-Blazers live from Talking Stick Resort Arena.
The Blazers laid waste to the Phoenix Suns once again, without even needing the shooting touch of All-Star Damian Lillard who took a back seat to the rest of the guys on Friday night.
Suns are without Devin Booker and Mikal Bridges and an NBA point guard of any kind.
Blazers without Maurice Harkless.
Yusuf Nurkic is such a big dude. Deandre Ayton not quite sure that to do with all that size, committed a shooting foul trying to block a Nurkic dunk. Nurkic has 6/4 in the opening 6 minutes, but got blocked by both Elie Okobo and later Ayton. Blazers clearly trying to get Ayton into rookie trouble, but Ayton holding up okay. Only 1 foul after 8 blender minutes against 2 blocks.
Damian Lillard hasn’t taken a single shot in 8 minutes, content to run whole offense through Nurkic in high post. (Lillard took no first quarter shots, and took only 7 in the entire game (21 minutes). Back court mate C.J. McCollum took only 9 shots in his 21 minutes.)
Blazers are hitting everything now. Two desperation shots at buzzer, two makes (Stauskas for 3, Curry for 2). Caleb Swanigan and Seth Curry carry the second unit.
Blazers up 10 all of a sudden. And then up 12 after 1. Blazers end first quarter on 16-5 run.
Nothing against the Blazers and their 13 point lead early in the second quarter but the best thing going for the Blazers is the Suns awful point guard play and T.J. Warren’s absolute refusal to take an open three. Just killing the Suns. Killing everything.
Blazers are fighting hard to keep the ball out of Aytons hands, running around him defensively to deflect the post pass. Nurkic is not playing in the second quarter, so this is with Leonard, Collins and Aminu taking turns. On the other end, Blazers got Ayton into his third foul with 4:21 left in the half. Really focused on attacking him.
None of the other Suns are doing anything. Part of that is the active Blazers defense. Part is the Suns being just bad. Josh Jackson is 1-10 from the floor, including a pair of layups just missed.
Halftime: Blazers up 51-42
The Blazers are the first team of the week to get Ayton into foul trouble, coaxing him into his fourth foul just four minutes into the second half. Ayton leaves with 11 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks in 18 minutes.
Blazers up 14 after 5 minutes in the second half. The Suns have now committed 17 fouls in just 31 minutes of play.
Dragan Bender came in with about 6 minutes left in the third quarter. A little early for the “wave the white flag” move, so Suns media is a bit surprised.
Blazers quickly up 18.
Dame and CJ done for the night.
Then it’s 19. Then 23.
The Suns are going down softly now. Playing a lineup of guys who’d struggle to make any other NBA team rotation.
Blazers are running with Nurkic, Curry, Collins (who bullied Bender), Evan Turner and Nik Stauskas. Not even a fair fight. Nurkic having fun now on both ends. Padding stats in blowout.
Blazers up 29 at the end of three.
This is embarassing for Suns fans, and not much to glean for Blazers fans.
Anfernee Simons played in the 4th. He looks 12 years old. So did Wade Baldwin IV.
Unfortunately for the Blazers, this is when the Suns decided to play a bit of basketball and the score got down in the under-20 range fast enough for coach Terry Stotts to call a disgusted timeout. This is #1 on the season for Suns opposing coaches calling “how the f*%k is it close to 20?!?!’ timeout to chew out his players, kicking off a trend line that hopefully doesn’t exceed last season’s for sad Suns fans.
Wade Baldwin had a nice block on Josh Jackson drive at one point.
Jake Layman made two late, contested threes to keep the Blazers up about 20.