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Matthews, Blazers hold off Suns

Dec 8, 2010 - 7:46 AM Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Wesley Matthews scored 24 points, as the Portland Trail Blazers used a late run to earn a 106-99 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

With point guard Andre Miller serving his one-game league suspension, Matthews started and second-year guard Patrick Mills had his role increased. In nearly 29 minutes, a career-high, Mills recorded nine points and a team-high seven assists.

"With (Miller) being out, I had big shoes to fill, but I think it was a team effort," Mills said. "Going up against the best point guard in the world, you've got to bring your 'A' game."

LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy each scored 20 points for the Blazers, whose nine-point run late in the fourth quarter turned a deficit into a 96-89 lead.

That, as well as the Blazers' 32-of-33 performance from the foul line, helped Portland secure its second consecutive win after a six-game slide.

Steve Nash totaled 24 points and 15 assists for the Suns, who had won their last three.

"We made a couple mistakes that we can't afford to make, and that gave them the cushion," Nash said.

Baskets from Grant Hill and Channing Frye put Phoenix up 89-87 with 4:31 left to play, but Portland dominated over the next several minutes to take control.

Nicolas Batum started the run with a layup, while Aldridge and Matthews each made his way to the line for two free throws following a Suns turnover. Both teams missed a couple shots before Batum drilled a three-pointer with 1:38 left, a pivotal shot that gave the Blazers a 96-89 edge.

With so little time left, Phoenix needed an answer, but Jared Dudley missed a three. The Suns got a series of easy baskets in the final minute with the Blazers not wanting to foul, but Portland made 10 foul shots in the final 42.9 seconds to secure the win.

Portland held a 29-23 lead after one quarter and stretched its lead to a game- high 12 several times in the second, including when Aldridge's jumper with 3:29 left made it a 49-37 game.

However, the Suns closed the half on a 10-2 run to get within four at the break, then scored the first six points of the third quarter to grab a 53-51 edge.

Dudley ended the third quarter with a three and a layup to push Phoenix's lead to 75-69, and he opened the fourth with another trey.

But Mills followed with a three-point play to spark a 10-1 Portland run. Aldridge ended it with a jumper to tie the game at 79, and it was close down the stretch.

Game Notes

Phoenix shot 50.7 percent, but turned the ball over 19 times, leading to 19 Portland points...Hill ended with 23 points and eight boards for the Suns, while Frye and Dudley each added 13 points...Batum finished with 12 points...The Blazers close their three-game homestand Thursday against Orlando.