Suns Score Big Comeback Win Over Blazers
Fresh off pouring in 31 points, 10 assists and five rebounds in a Suns win, Goran Dragic had to interrupt a reporter who mentioned a game fact in passing.
“We were down 16?” he asked incredulously. “Really?”
Yes. You were.
Such was the magnitude of the Suns’ turnaround against the hottest team in the league. Phoenix erased a 16-point deficit by scoring 99 points in the final three quarters, turning an early hole into a rout over the Blazers.
“Don’t look at the scoreboard. Just play as hard as possible,” Dragic concluded with a laugh.
There was plenty to avoid seeing. Portland entered Wednesday night on a wave of 11 straight victories and tied for the most wins in the league at 13. They were up by 11 after the first quarter and led the rebounding battle 17-7.
Dragic’s blissful unawareness changed the tone of the game in the second quarter. The Suns point guard picked Portland apart, hitting an array of mid-range jumpers and three-pointers first to get Phoenix out of its early deficit, then to help put the game away.
“Goran gave us a big lift when things weren’t going great,” said Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek. “He made some big shots for us, kept us in the game. We got down. We didn’t get panicked. The guys, they battled.”
Three times in the third quarter Portland threatened to cut the lead to 10. All three times, Dragic responded with a shot, twice from beyond the arc.
“Goran’s just been on a tear,” Channing Frye said. “When he’s feeling it like today, you just get him the rock and get the hell out of the way.”
Frye was just as lethal as Dragic’s partner in crime, netting 25 points on just 12 shots. The performance marked his sixth double-digit scoring performance over the last seven games, as well as a season-high.
“Today, I was like, ‘Coach, I’m not tired,’” he said. “I was just getting frustrated with how we were playing [in the beginning]. We weren’t running. We weren’t getting stops. Coach trusted me, put me out there for the rest of the first half…I couldn’t have done it about two weeks ago.”
With Dragic sitting out for the final four minutes of the third quarter, Phoenix got help from the Morris twins and guard Ish Smith to keep the team in control. Markieff scored eight of the final 12 points of the period.
Phoenix has won three of its last four games and is once again above .500 (8-7) on the season.