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Turnovers Bite Trail Blazers As They Fall To Suns 114-87

  1. Written by: erikgundersen  / avg. rating: 4.0

    Points in the paint and outside shooting from the Suns (5-7) snapped Portland's three game winning streak in Phoenix. Damain Lillard impressed in the loss, however, finishing with 24 points. With the loss the Trail Blazers fall to 5-6 on the season.

    Phoenix's big men dominated the Trail Blazers inside. They made a change in the starting line-up by starting Markieff Morris instead of Luis Scola and the move proved to work. Gortat had 22 points and seven rebounds while Morris had 19 points and seven boards. Even Jermaine O'Neal joined in on the act from the bench, chipping in with 15 points.

    "One breakdown here, one breakdown there," Terry Stotts said after the game. "When people talk about effort, there's a lot of mental effort that goes into it. Sustaining a defensive possession, coming up with loose balls. It's also communicating. A team shoots 60 percent all night long, we're not doing a lot right defensively."

    The Suns shot 60 percent on the night and 41 percent from three. Portland also did not get their three-pointers to go in this one. The team had come in to the game shooting the sixth-best percentage from three-point range in the NBA at 38.5 percent. Tonight, they shot 26 percent.

    The Trail Blazers were bitten by the turnover bug early on. They had 22 total turnovers, 10 of which came in the second quarter, which was the quarter that forced them to try and come back. They came into the second quarter only down four points, despite giving up 29 points to the Suns, an offense that came into the game that ranked below the league average in offensive efficiency.  There were signs of a comeback in the third quarter but every Trail Blazers bucket would be answered by the Suns. The Phoenix lead got as low as 11 points but that was as close as Portland would get. The fourth quarter was when the wheels came off for the Trail Blazers' comeback attempt as they lost that one 25-16.

    Meyers Leonard did get his first start this evening and played pretty well, in the stead of JJ Hickson, who was out with a shoulder injury. Leonard was five of eight from the field for 10 points, even hitting a few jumpers to go along with five rebounds.

    Portland's next game is Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves who just got their All-Star forward Kevin Love back from injury. That game will start 7PM and will be shown on KGW and can be heard on 1190 AM and 102.3 FM.

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