It didn’t come easy.
An overturned goaltending call, which would have given the Blazers a four-point cushion with less than a minute remaining gave Phoenix life, and on the next possession, Kelly Oubre Jr. converted a four-point play to pull the Suns ahead 110-108.
That could have been all she wrote.
But at the other end, Damian Lillard answered with his own and-1 at the rim, giving Portland the edge and allowing a collective exhale across Rip City.
Ricky Rubio had a shot to win it at the buzzer, but his angle three was well off the mark.
Carmelo Anthony scored 10 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, including a couple timely threes, coming to the rescue when his team desperately needed it. He also stuffed the stat sheet with 8 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals in easily his best defensive performance since making his return to the NBA. He even converted a rare fast-break alley-oop lob from Lillard late in the first half. The three-day break was kind to Melo.
CJ McCollum led all scorers with 30 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 6 assists, and Lillard added 27 points and 5 assists.
That was close, Devin Booker must have gone off. He did not. In fact, he didn’t even play, as Booker missed his second straight game with a forearm contusion.
But at least Deandre Ayton is back, right? Nope, not yet. Ayton served the final of his 25-game banned substance suspension against the Blazers and is now set to join his re-join his team against the Clippers on Tuesday.
The Blazers will return home to host the husk of the Golden State Warriors Wednesday night at the Moda Center.