The Blazers were fighting for their lives after a rough 3 game losing streak out on the road. A loss on this night to the bottom dwelling Pheonix Suns would have put them below .500 for the season and caused heads to shake in the Moda Center. Fortunately this wasn't close to happening as the Blazers took care of business at home, despite a sloppy 4th quarter. They got the win 118-111.
Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum came out firing from the start. The Blazers didn't miss a shot for the fist 5 minutes of the game, going 8 for 8 including 2 three pointers. The crowd loved it, but the Suns stuck around , mostly behind the hot play of guard Devon Booker, who would end the night with an impressive 43 points. Still, at halftime, the Blazers were up by 15. Want to see what the fans looked like during the break? Read on!
These 2 were ready to witness a Blazers blowout:
These 2 predicted victory as well:
XRAY.fm's Jefferson Smith (left) had a lot opinions about the state of the Blazers:
This dude is a Sun's fan even though he's lived in Portland for the past 10 years. "I moved here when Obama was elected, but I don't switch teams," he explained:
These two said they had been Blazers fans "for a very long time".:
These two just looked good:
The third quarter saw the Blazers stretch their lead well past 20 points and folks settled back for a nice blowout win. Coach Stotts prepared to rest the starters for the remainder of the game, but Devon Booker had other plans. He and Troy Daniels shot the lights out from 3, and brought the Suns back to within 10. The starters came back in and Lillard closed things out with a few nice drives to the hoop.
Interesting sidenotes to this game included the benching of Jusuf Nurkic early in the first half. This brought on a rare Meyers Leonard sighting. Coach Stotts later said he felt "Meyers deserved a chance". He didn't make a whole lot of it though and Nurkic came back in the third quarter with renewed effort. Stott also employed the recently effective 3 guard line-up with Lillard, McCollum, and Shabazz Napier all on the floor at the same time. Folks have also been talking about how hot "Chief" Al Faruq Aminu has been from long range this season. He's shooting nearly 40% from range, a career high, despite his unorthodox "cocked head" shooting form, on display here:
It was a good win for the blazers, but nothing to write home about. The Suns sit in 11th place in the West, while the Blazers underachieve in 7th. The Blazers play at home again on Thursday night against a pretty good Indiana Pacers team. It should be a close match-up and another test for a season whose story has yet to be written.