Blazers Hold Off Suns in Portland


Nicolas Batum led the charge for the Portland Trail Blazers as they snapped a three-game losing streak against the Phoenix Suns with a 108-87 victory

Phoenix (28-23) started off slow offensively as they scored their second lowest amount of points in the first quarter of the season with just 16. The Suns trailed by 19 points at one point in the first half and came all the way back to take a 63-62 with 1:32 remaining in the third quarter.

Portland (34-16) would have nothing of the Suns’ valiant comeback efforts however as they used a 42-22 final frame to extend the Suns losing streak to three games.

Batum led all scorers with 20 points and also added seven assists. Robin Lopez posted a double-double with 11 points and 12 boards while also sending away four Suns’ shots.

LaMarcus Aldridge made history on Thursday night as his double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds was the 220th double-double of his career with the Trail Blazers, which is a new franchise record.

Damian Lillard continued his slump as he extended his streak of missed three-point shot attempts to 17 as he went 0-5 from distance against Phoenix. Lillard finished with 13 points and four boards regardless, but he often passed up open looks late in the game to find Lopez or Aldridge in the paint.

The Suns only had two guys, Markieff Morris (18) and Eric Bledsoe (17), that finished in double digits in scoring on a very inefficient night from the field. Phoenix shot a measly 38.6% from the field and 26.1% from beyond the three-point line.

Alex Len had been held scoreless in back-to-back games for the first time since getting the starting gig in mid-December, but broke that scoreless streak early against Portland. Len would score five points, snag four boards, stole two passes, and blocked a shot in only nine minutes of play before leaving with an ankle injury.

With four games remaining in the first half of the season it makes sense for the Suns to hold out their 21-year-old center out until after the All-Star Break. Hopefully Len will be able to make a full recovery in time for their first game after the All-Star Break against the Timberwolves on February 20.

Phoenix will have to rebound quickly from their loss to Portland tonight as they will be home tomorrow night to take on the Utah Jazz on “Orange Friday” at U.S. Airways Center.

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