February 26, 2024

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Suns shine bright, overpower Trail Blazers 109-88 in 4th straight win sans Durant

4 min read
WIN STREAK. The Phoenix Suns posts its fourth consecutive win by routing the Portland Trail Blazers 109-88 on Monday night (Tuesday, January 2, Philippine time) on their home court. GETTY IMAGES VIA PHOENIX SUNS FACEBOOK

The Phoenix Suns secured their fourth consecutive victory by defeating the Portland Trail Blazers 109-88 on Monday night (Tuesday, January 2, Philippine time) on their home court.
With Kevin Durant sidelined due to right hamstring tightness, the Suns showcased their depth as seven players scored in double figures.
Bradley Beal led the way with 21 points, continuing to make a significant impact since his return from an ankle injury last Friday. Jusuf Nurkic, facing his former team, contributed 18 points, while Chimezie Metu, stepping into the starting lineup for Durant, added 14. Grayson Allen and reserve Eric Gordon each chipped in with 12 points.
Nurkic emphasized the impact of Beal, stating, “He changes everything. It’s simple. We depend on him. When he’s out there, it doesn’t matter what he does, just being out there makes a big difference for our team.”
Despite Phoenix star Devin Booker being held to 10 points on 4-of-16 shooting, the Suns found contributions from various players. Bol Bol stepped up in Durant’s absence, recording 11 points and nine rebounds. The Suns’ collective effort allowed them to control the game and limit Portland to their lowest point total of the season.
Durant, who scored 31 points in Sunday’s victory over Orlando, was sidelined due to hamstring tightness. Suns coach Monty Williams praised the team’s bench for their performance, stating, “I want to credit our bench. We were getting a lot of stops and getting out on the break, and things are a lot easier when you’re not taking the ball out of your own basket and not fouling. Our bench tonight gets the game ball.”
Scoot Henderson led the Trail Blazers with 17 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Suns’ defensive prowess. Jerami Grant contributed 15 points, while Malcolm Brogdon and Jabari Walker each added 10.
Despite leading 29-20 after the first quarter, the Trail Blazers struggled in the next two periods, being outscored 66-32. Phoenix built a lead as large as 26 points during the game, demonstrating their dominance on both ends of the court.
Portland played without former Phoenix center Deandre Ayton, sidelined by right knee tendinitis, and Toumani Camara, who missed the game with right knee soreness.
The Blazers haven’t won a road game since Nov. 30 against Cleveland, and their last win came on Dec. 19 against the Suns in Portland, ending a seven-game losing streak.
Looking ahead, Portland will face the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, while Phoenix will host the Los Angeles Clippers on the same day. The Suns aim to continue their winning streak, proving that they can overcome challenges and showcase their depth in Durant’s absence.

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