They say the sun doesn’t often shine in Portland. Liquid sunshine maybe. That wasn’t the case Monday night as the Blazers (14-20) let a game that was all but there’s slip away to the Suns (13-20) in a 122-116 loss at the Moda Center.
What a way to end the year. The Blazers had one of their best starts of the season despite being short handed. They tied a franchise record 12 three pointers in the first half, including shooting 9/12 (69%) in the 1st from afar as they led by as much as 19 points. They also matched a season high 64 points in the first half. But, it was too good to be true.
The Phoenix Suns fought their way back shooting 12/19 (63%) from afar to the Blazers 5/21 (24%) in the second half behind Devin Booker and Oubre Jr.
The first half ended in a head shaker, as Blazers center Moses Brown who was just recalled from the G League, gave an inbounds pass back to the Suns who’s own center Aaron Baynes had just hit a three pointer, when Kelly Oubre hit another to end the half. In just over half of Brown’s 1 minute played, the Suns had scored 8 points.
The Blazers led 64-55 at halftime, but the Suns came out swinging and the Blazers tried to hang on. Their nine point lead dwindled and was built back until Phoenix got the lead down to six twice, then four, then three, two, one…the Suns chipped away until DeAndre Ayton gave the Suns their first lead since the 1st quarter with less than 3 minutes left in the game. Booker and Oubre followed suit…Oubre blowing mocking kisses to the crowd as he put the game away with a three.
The Blazers are now on 4 game losing streak. They dropped to 9th in the Western Conference, just out of the playoff picture. The Blazers were last 14-20 in the 2016-17 season when they ended up 3rd in the west. Last season they were 18-16 at this point of the season.
The Suns broke an 11 game losing streak agai st the Blazers and an 8 game losing streak on the season with the win.
Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 33 points. CJ McCollum added 25 points and Hassan Whiteside came up his 24th double double of the season, with 16 points and 22 rebounds.
Devin Booker led the Suns, matching Lillard with 33 pts, while Oubre Jr finished with 29 points.