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Suns Bounce Back, Burn Trail Blazers
By: Stefan Swiat, Suns.com
With the Trail Blazers coming into Wednesday night’s contest winners of three straight and the Suns on a three-game losing skid, the Suns were in need of a jolt to secure the home victory.
After inserting Shannon Brown and Markieff Morris into the starting lineup and making Jared Dudley and Luis Scola reserves, the Suns received the jolt that they needed, rolling to a 114-87 win.
“Obviously, that was our most complete game (of the season),” Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said.
Both Morris and Brown responded to the challenge in the first half, with Morris totaling 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting, while Brown was 2-of-3 from downtown. The Suns shot 60 percent from the floor in the first half, heading to the break up by 13.
After a 10-2 run to start the third period, the Suns cruised to victory behind a season-high 19 points from Morris and 22 points from center Marcin Gortat. Phoenix went on to shoot a season-high 60 percent from the floor on the night.
“With Markieff spotting up at the three-point line, the whole middle was open for me and for Goran (Dragic),” Gortat said. “If we come out and play the way we did today, with so much focus and energy, we should be fine.”
The Suns outscored Portland in the paint by 30 and committed nine less turnovers on the night. In addition, Phoenix erupted for a season high for third-quarter points by amassing 32.
But it wasn’t all just offense.
The Suns held the Blazers to a season-low 44 points in the first half and 40-percent shooting on the night. Portland, which is one of the hottest 3-point shooting teams in the league, was also held to 26-percent shooting on the night. Suns point guard Goran Dragic contributed 15 points, eight assists and three steals, while P.J. Tucker (11) Brown (10). Jermaine O’Neal was the only other Suns in double-figures with 17 points.
The performance allowed the Suns to capture their fourth-straight home victory over the Trail Blazers.
“As we continue to play together, slow down, play as a unit and execute our game plan,” Brown said. “We should be fine.”
After seeing Portland’s promising rookie, Damian Lillard, on Wednesday, Phoenix will host the Hornets and rookie phenom Anthony Davis on Friday.
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