Despite a slow start, the Portland Trail Blazers were able to put away the Phoenix Suns in the second half on Thursday night en route to a 120-106 victory. Portland used a 25-4 run between the end of the third and start of the fourth quarters to get past the Western Conference cellar-dwelling Suns. Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 24 points, while Devin Booker led all scorers with 27 for Phoenix.
Here are a few takeaways from tonight’s game:
- A tale of two halves. After committing 10 turnovers in the first half, the Blazers cleaned things up after the break, picking up only seven additional giveaways—most of them with the game already out of reach. This helped slow down the Suns’ fast break attack, which was lethal in the first half—netting them 23 points.
- Fear the turtle. Jake Layman was a key factor in Portland’s second half run. The former Maryland Terrapin gave the Blazers 20 big points off of the bench in addition to eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
- Dame continues assault on record books. Lillard’s lay-up at the end of the first quarter pushed him past Kiki VanDeWeghe for the most points through 50 games of a season in franchise history. He also became just the second player in NBA history to hit a three-pointer in each of his team’s first 50 games of a season, equaling Dennis Scott.
The Blazers host the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night. Stay tuned for a deeper dive into tonight’s game from Nate Mann.