Gortat, Suns scorch Trail BlazersApr 17, 2012 - 5:48 AM Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Marcin Gortat paced a balanced offensive attack with 20 points and 10 rebounds as the Phoenix Suns rolled to a 125-107 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday at U.S. Airways Center.
Channing Frye finished with 19 points and six rebounds, Jared Dudley added 18 points, Shannon Brown netted 16, while Markieff Morris donated 14 and six rebounds.
"Offensively, we're playing at a high level. When we play unselfish and we move the ball like we did and shoot the ball from three, it's hard to beat us," Dudley said.
Sebastian Telfair rounded out the double-figure scorers with 12 for the Suns, who have won two of their last three and pulled into a tie for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with the Houston Rockets, who lost to Denver on Monday. Steve Nash added 13 assists and six points.
Jamal Crawford and J.J. Hickson led the way for the Blazers with 22 points apiece, while Wesley Matthews added 19 points and Luke Babbitt had 18. Nolan Smith contributed 14 points for Portland, which has lost three straight and is officially eliminated from playoff contention.
The contest got off to a slow start, with the teams tied at four two minutes in, but the Suns opened up some breathing room for themselves with a 10-2 run to make it 14-6 with 3 1/2 minutes played in the opening quarter.
Hickson dropped in two free throws with just over four minutes to go in the quarter to pull the Blazers within five, but Phoenix answered with the next five points to extend the advantage to 27-17, and the Suns led 35-24 after one quarter.
A reverse layup by Smith cut the Suns lead to 43-40 with 6 1/2 minutes left before halftime, but Phoenix responded with the next six consecutive points to make it 49-40, and a three-pointer by Frye with just over three minutes left in the half restored a double-digit advantage for the Suns.
Phoenix led 66-53 at the break.
Hickson buried an 18-foot jumper with 8:27 left in the third to cut the deficit to 73-64, but the Suns dominated throughout the stanza and used a 16-6 flurry to extend the lead to 89-70 with just over three minutes to go in the third frame, and they took a 97-80 advantage into the fourth.
"We cut it to nine, but we couldn't close the gap," Hickson said.
Morris slammed home a putback attempt to take the Suns' lead across the 20- point threshold, 101-80, less than a minute into the final quarter and they coasted the rest of the way for the easy win.
The Suns improved to 7-3 in the month of April and are 20-10 since beginning the season 12-19...Phoenix shot a season-high 60 percent from the floor, and matched a season-high in points...Portland shot 46 percent from the field and 8-of-21 from three-point land...Phoenix outrebounded Portland, 41-36...Phoenix scored 60 of their 125 points in the paint.
- PORTLAND: 107
Apr 17 12:21 AM
- PORTLAND: 80
End of 3rd
Apr 16 11:51 PM
- PORTLAND: 53
Apr 16 11:09 PM
- PORTLAND: 24
End of 1st
Apr 16 10:39 PM
- PORTLAND: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 16 10:13 PM
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