New-look Suns take down Blazers in season openerOct 31, 2013 - 5:53 AM Phoenix Suns defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 104-91, in their season opener at US Airways Center.
Eric Bledsoe had 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting for new coach Jeff Hornacek. Miles Plumlee and PJ Tucker both dropped a career-high 18 points, with Plumlee grabbing 15 rebounds as Phoenix snapped a three-game losing streak in season openers.
"Miles, he is just an athletic guy. You do not have to run a lot of things for him," Hornacek said of Plumlee. "He just did a nice job of really being active out there and putting pressure on their defense."
Damian Lillard poured in a game-high 32 points and made 6-of-12 shots from beyond the arc in defeat. LaMarcus Aldridge netted 28 points while Nicolas Batum had 13 rebounds.
The Trail Blazers have now lost a franchise-record 14 straight games dating back to last season.
"The Phoenix Suns outplayed us," Portland head coach Terry Stotts admitted. "They were ready from the get go. They got out and ran."
Plumlee scored 10 points in the first quarter as Phoenix jumped out to an early 30-16 lead. An alley-oop from Bledsoe to Plumlee with 4:19 left in the frame highlighted a 14-2 run by the Suns.
Lillard, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year, scored 16 points in the second frame. Lillard connected on three 3-pointers over Portland's final three possessions to cut the Suns' lead down to 50-46 at the half.
Portland got within one on a jump shot from Batum early in the third, but Phoenix scored 12 consecutive points, with Channing Frye and Dragic each draining 3-pointers to maintain the lead.
Phoenix took an 81-69 advantage into the fourth quarter. Bledsoe threw a quick pass up court to Dragic for a dunk which gave the Suns a 96-87 lead with 3:53 remaining.
The Trail Blazers could not gain any ground offensively in the final frame. Lillard provided most of the offense with nine points, knocking down the team's only 3-pointer in the fourth with 3:32 remaining.
Phoenix was without forward Markieff Morris as he served a one-game suspension for elbowing Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka in a preseason game ... Phoenix has won four of the last five meetings between the two teams ... The Suns have won five straight home games against Portland ... Phoenix is now 15-7 in home openers.
Oct 31 12:22 AM
- PORTLAND: 69
End of 3rd
Oct 30 11:48 PM
- PORTLAND: 46
Oct 30 11:08 PM
- PORTLAND: 16
End of 1st
Oct 30 10:40 PM
- PORTLAND: 2
1st Quarter - 11:40
Oct 30 10:14 PM
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