The Trail Blazers bounced back from Thursday’s loss to the Thunder by defeating the Suns 127-120. Along with returning to the win column, rookie Anfernee Simons recorded his first three-point conversion of his NBA career.
Simons, a 19-year-old guard who spent last year in IMG Academy’s post-grad program, was on the receiving end of some unforeseen playing time. With Rodney Hood sidelined and the Blazers out in front, the Florida native found himself alongside Damian Lillard late in the third quarter. With the defense collapsing around him, Lillard delivered a beautiful pass to Simons that resulted in the youngster’s first NBA three-pointer.
After the game, NBC Sports Northwest’s Jamie Hudson spoke with Lillard about Simons’ minutes against the Suns.
“I was excited to be able to coach him while he was on the floor and kind of trying to put him in good situations and get that real experience,” Lillard said.
Foul trouble eventually cut into Simons’ time on the court—proving the rookie still has a few lessons to learn. Regardless of the fouls, Simons’ aggressiveness on offense is encouraging for the Blazers’ future.