Anfernee Simons came out to center court before the game and told the crowd he wanted to make them proud this season. He got off to a good start Friday night, hitting a game winning hook shot with 7.2 seconds left in overtime against the Suns.
The Blazers defense told the rest of the story on the other end, and DeAndre Ayton missed a free throw and tried to throw the second off the backboard, but the Blazers were ready and thwarted a game tying shot off the rebound with 1.2 to win their home opener 113-111.
The game started with a hot suns shooting to double digit lead, but the Blazers erased it despite a load of sloppy turnovers and stayed close as Damian Lillard went off in the second, putting up 28 points by half.
The Blazers attacked and attacked often in the second half, just outscoring the Suns in the third before trading leads in a dogfight of a fourth quarter that came down to the buzzer. Damian Lillard missed on an off balance fading jumper over Chris Paul and Mikal Bridges sending the game to overtime.
The Suns won the tip and came out strong building a small lead, but the Blazers preservered, and Anfernee Simons gave them the lead for good in the final seconds, helping the Blazers to start the season 2-0.
Damian Lillard led Portland with 41 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists. It marked the second home opener he recorded at least 39 points.
Jusuf Nurkic powered to a 20 point, 17 rebound game with a concerted effort in the second half.
Anfernee Simons after struggling in the first half, woke up in the second, putting together a 16 pt game.
Devin Booker led the Suns with 33 points. DeAndre Ayton dominated in the paint for 26 points and 6 rebounds.
The Blazers will play the Lakers in a matinee on Sunday in Los Angeles.