Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 91, Suns 104

Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 91, Suns 104
October 30, 2013


• Damian Lillard (32 points) and LaMarcus Aldridge (28 points) became the first Trail Blazers teammates to each score at least 28 points in the same game against the Suns since Brian Grant (34 points), Isaiah Rider (35 points) and Arvydas Sabonis (31 points) each did so in Portland against the Suns on Nov. 14, 1997.

• The Suns had four players score at least 18 points tonight (Dragič-26, Bledsoe-22, Plumlee-18, Tucker-18). The last time the Suns had at least four players each score 18+ in a season opener was on Nov. 3, 1989, vs. Golden State when five Suns players (Armen Gilliam, Eddie Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Dan Majerle, Tom Chambers) each had at least 18 points.

• Miles Plumlee had 18 points (8-14 FG) and 15 rebounds to record his first career double-double. As a rookie with Indiana last season, Plumlee played in 14 games and totaled 13 points and 22 rebounds in 55 minutes all season—by halftime tonight, Plumlee had 16 points to already surpass his previous career total.

• Plumlee is the first Suns player to record a double-double in his first career start in a season opener since Shawn Marion had 14 points and 14 rebounds in his first career start in the season opener at Denver on Nov. 2, 1999.

• The backcourt duo of Eric Bledsoe (22 points, six assists, seven rebounds) and Goran Dragič (26 points, nine assists, six rebounds) hit the ground running and became the first Suns teammates since Shawn Marion and Boris Diaw on April 9, 2006, at Seattle to each record at least 20 points, five assists and five rebounds in the same game.

• Phoenix Head Coach Jeff Hornacek won his regular season Suns coaching debut, becoming the 10th Suns coach to do so (out of 16)

• Phoenix won their home opener and season opener for the first time since the 2009-10 season. The Suns finished 54-28 (.659) that season and reached the Western Conference finals

• The Suns improved to 4-4 (.500) on opening night at US Airways Center and 13-9 (.591) at US Airways Center in home openers

• Phoenix snapped a five-game losing streak when facing the Trail Blazers in season openers. The Suns last beat the Trail Blazers in the 1975-76 opener

• The 13-point victory was the Suns’ largest margin of victory in a season opener since 2004-05 against Atlanta (112-82)



Damian Lillard

On Tonight's Game:
“They came out and they kind of shocked us. They played at a real fast pace and their guards finished some tough shots. They kind of got us out of position with the pace that they played at. It was tough to guard them and it wasn’t a help that we got off to a slow offensive start. We dug a hole and then got back into the game but they turned it up on us. It’s one game, we have to take the good and the bad. We did some things well but obviously we’ve got some things we need to go back and fix. The good thing is we have another game Friday.”


LaMarcus Aldridge

On Tonight's Game:
"They made plays. We fought back and got back into it and they had guys that made plays tonight. Bledsoe played great, the big fella down low, Plumlee, played great. I thought they had guys that made plays tonight. We came out a little bit slow and they were home and it’s their opener and they have a bunch of new players, young players who are getting their first opportunity to play, to start. They just had more energy than us. We fought back but it just wasn’t enough.”


Terry Stotts

On Tonight's Game:
“The Phoenix Suns outplayed us. They were ready from the get go. They got out and ran. All the things that we’ve been working on, we had a set back today: transition defense, we were slow reacting to that. Their guards did a good job of penetrating and we gave up too many shots at the rim. We fought thorough not necessarily shooting the ball well in the first half but we battled back and we were in a position to win the game with three minutes to go when it was a five point game, but they outplayed us.”


Miles Plumlee

On Tonight's Game:
“It was great. I felt great. Things kind of went my way to begin with and the confidence just kept going. I am excited because I felt like there were a lot of things that I could have done better throughout the entire game. All I can ask for is the opportunity to start everyday and when that opportunity comes you have to take it.”

On Starting:
“I was definitely a little nervous but when the tip went up it definitely cleared my mind. That’s what happens when you are doing all the reps before and after practice with the coaches. It is just the same things that I have been working on.”


Goran Dragic

On Tonight's Game:
“We played well. We started the game really well, especially in the first quarter. We played well on defense and of course when we get a chance we are going to push the ball. We did that and of course we played the pick and roll and tried to find open guys. Miles was great for us he had fifteen rebounds and played really well. But we have to forget about that and get ready for Utah.”

On Playing With Eric Beldsoe
“It is much easier; when you play pick and roll and he penetrates and then kicks it out to me I have a much easier time penetrating again. It’s like a scale when he goes out I go out and when he passes it out I penetrate. It is tough to defend."


Jeff Hornacek

On The Effectiveness Of The Lineup: “We always thought that was an advantage, having those two guys. One guy is not going; we put the other guy in the pick and roll. If they have the advantage. Obviously, tonight they both played great. Miles, he is just an athletic guy. You do not have to run a lot of things for him. It is basic basketball. You roll to the basket hard and you have guards that can pass the ball you are going to get some stuff. He just did a nice job of really being active out there and putting pressure on their defense.”

On Neutralizing Portland’s Runs:
“I got a little worried there when it got down to five, especially with a young team to see how they react. But they made a couple nice stops. That is the key for us. When we get stops, we are able to fast break. We had a pretty good transition. I think it was that one play that Eric ended up throwing it all the way down to Goran that really helped to separate at the end. Our guys played defense. I thought they did a great job together playing together. We had that stretch in the second quarter I didn’t think we did. I thought we were a little too, ‘lets make one move and try to get my shot off type play’, and we only scored twenty points in that quarter. If we just eliminate those quarters we will be okay.”

On Four Players In Double Figures
“It was great. You do not look at the stats; you go we won the game. Those guys played well, but everybody stepped out there. “