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3 Blazers Rookies Achieve Career-Highs vs. Suns

Scoot Henderson, Kris Murray and Rayan Rupert all shined for the Portland Trail Blazers against the Phoenix Suns.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

It’s always positive when rookies make an impact. And in the case of the Portland Trail Blazers, all three of their draft picks had their best scoring performances of their young careers in Sunday’s loss against the Phoenix Suns.

Scoot Henderson drew the start at point guard and scored 33 points to go with nine assists. Fellow first-round pick Kris Murray saw 37 minutes of action and scored 13 points for his best shooting total of his career. Second-round pick Rayan Rupert added 11 points in 14 minutes of action.

“It was fun watching them, it was fun coaching them,” coach Chauncey Billups said after Sunday’s game. “So many guys played well, obviously Scoot [Henderson] had a career high, Kris [Murray] had career high Rupes [Rayan Rupert, too.] They all shared the basketball.”

Henderson, Murray and Rupert all saw an opportunity to play extended minutes with Malcolm Brogdon, Jerami Grant and Matisse Thybulle sidelined. So it remains to be seen whether they will continue to see this kind of playing time. However, with the trade deadline coming up in a few weeks and the Blazers leaning in towards getting as high of a draft pick as possible, it could open the door for more playing time for the rookies, and thus, signs of improvement and development.

The Blazers and their rookies will be back in action tomorrow night against the Brooklyn Nets. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT.