Injury-depleted Trail Blazers beat Suns 108-101Feb 11, 2010 - 5:51 AM By BOB BAUM AP Sports Writer
PHOENIX(AP) -- The depleted Portland Trail Blazers straggled into Phoenix at 3 a.m. after an embarrassing home loss.
The Suns were waiting, with five days' rest and a five-game winning streak, knowing the Blazers hadn't won in Phoenix for a long, long time.
What followed was a 108-101 victory for Portland in one of the Blazers' best offensive games of the season and a Suns performance that left Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry steaming.
The final score did not come close to reflecting the Blazers' dominance.
Steve Blake had 20 points and 12 assists, both season highs for Portland, coming off an 89-77 home loss to Oklahoma City on Tuesday night. Blake didn't start in that game and went scoreless, going 0 for 5 in 23 1/2 minutes.
Still, coach Nate McMillan decided to start Blake alongside Andre Miller, with Nicolas Batum going to the bench.
"Everyone knows last night was a little uncharacteristic of us, 24 turnovers and stuff," Blake said, "so we wanted to come back and show how we really play. When you have a big break coming up you want to have confidence, feeling good going into that break. So this is huge for us."
The Blazers, who led by as many as 22 in the third quarter and 17 in the fourth, shot 58 percent, the highest the Suns have allowed this season. Portland made 71 percent of their first-half shots while ending a 10-game losing streak in Phoenix.
"We were pretty sharp from the start," McMillan said. "It's nice to see the ball going through the hoop. I think all teams feed off that when their shots are falling."
The Blazers, without All-Star Brandon Roy and three other injured important players, bolted to a 14-point lead in the opening minutes and were up by as many as 17 in the second quarter.
LaMarcus Aldridge led five Portland players in double figures with 22 points. Amare Stoudemire scored 24 for Phoenix. Steve Nash had 15 points and 11 assists, but shot just 6 of 16 with five turnovers.
The Trail Blazers last won in Phoenix on Feb. 4, 2004, but they have beaten the Suns four straight times - three in Portland - for the first time since Dec. 5, 1999.
Gentry knows that the Blazers are one of the teams Phoenix will be fighting for a playoff berth. The teams enter the All-Star break nearly tied, the Suns 31-22 and the Blazers 31-24.
"They outhustled us, they came up with big plays, they made good passes," Gentry said. "They did everything that we didn't do. ... We weren't ready to play and we didn't play with a whole lot of energy and passion, and when we don't do that, we're not very good. We become a very, very, very average team."
The closest the Suns got after the early minutes was 103-99 after Nash's long 3-pointer with 18.8 seconds to go, then Blake and Miller made seven of eight free throws to finish it off.
The Suns, who hadn't played since Friday, scored the last six points of the third quarter and first nine of the fourth. The 15-0 run that started and ended on 3-pointers by Jared Dudley cut the lead to 83-76 with 10 1/2 minutes to play. But Batum and Blake made 3-pointers, and Dante Cunningham had a breakaway layup to ignite a 12-2 spurt by Portland.
"It was huge because they had a lot of confidence," Blake said. "The crowd was starting to get loud, really get into the game and I think they feed off of that, so that was a good job to kind of take the crowd out of it at that point."
Phoenix managed a last gasp. Channing Frye made a 7-footer from the baseline, followed by a fastbreak dunk, then Nash made a 3-pointer in an 18-6 run that cut it to 101-96 after Stoudemire's two free throws.
Blake missed a long 3 at the shot clock buzzer, but Aldridge grabbed the offensive rebound. That led to two free throws by Blake that boosted the lead to 103-96 24.2 seconds from the end.
The Blazers, without Roy for the 12th straight game, made 12 of their first 15 shots to go up 24-10. After Aldridge's 20-footer made it 26-12, Gentry called a time out and gave his team a profanity-laced tongue lashing.
NOTES: Portland had never won in Phoenix since Nash arrived. ... The Blazers reached 100 points for the fourth time in 14 games. ... Portland made 45 field goals, 14 more than the previous night against Oklahoma City. ... Before the game, Stoudemire thanked the fans for their support in making him an All-Star starter. Stoudemire is the subject of widespread trade speculation. Phoenix doesn't play again at home until Feb. 19, one day after the trade deadline. ... The Canadian Nash will carry the Olympic torch through downtown Vancouver on Thursday.
FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
PORTLAND 30 30 23 25 108
PHOENIX 20 24 23 34 101 FINAL
HIGH SCORERS: POR - LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE 22, STEVE BLAKE 20,
ANDRE MILLER 20
PHO - AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE 24, STEVE NASH 15,
JASON RICHARDSON 13
Feb 10 11:32 PM
END 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
PORTLAND 30 30 23 83
PHOENIX 20 24 23 67 END 3RD QTR
HIGH SCORERS AFTER 3RD QUARTER
POR - LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE 22, STEVE BLAKE 13,
ANDRE MILLER 12
PHO - AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE 11, JASON RICHARDSON
10, TWO PLAYERS WITH 9
Feb 10 10:48 PM
HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
PORTLAND 30 30 60
PHOENIX 20 24 44 HALFTIME
HIGH SCORERS AT HALFTIME
POR - LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE 16, STEVE BLAKE 11,
TWO PLAYERS WITH 8
PHO - JASON RICHARDSON 8, AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE
8, STEVE NASH 7
Feb 10 10:07 PM
END 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
PORTLAND 30 30
PHOENIX 20 20 END 1ST QTR
HIGH SCORERS AFTER 1ST QUARTER
POR - LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE 12, ANDRE MILLER 6,
TWO PLAYERS WITH 4
PHO - JASON RICHARDSON 6, AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE 5,
STEVE NASH 4
Feb 10 9:37 PM
- Klay Thompson has carried Warriors this postseason May 19
- Towns, Porzingis unanimously selected to All-Rookie 1st team May 19
- AP Source: Knicks working to hire Jeff Hornacek as coach May 18
- Blazers coach Terry Stotts agrees to 3-year extension May 16
- Defending champion Warriors expect tough task from Thunder May 16
- Clarification: Stars fuel hope for mid-major prospects May 13
- Damian Lillard and Trail Blazers look to bright future May 12
- How many times has your team changed coaches in the Pop era? May 12
- MVP Curry and his Warriors teammates move closer to goal May 12
- Splash Brothers Curry, Thompson send Warriors to West finals May 12
- Trail Blazers-Warriors Preview May 11
- Warriors look to clinch, Heat-Raptors face pivotal Game 5 May 11