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BC-BKN--Suns-Trail Blazers

March 10, 2019
AP Sports Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — CJ McCollum scored 26 points and the Portland Trail Blazers snapped the Phoenix Suns’ three-game winning streak with a 127-120 victory Saturday night.

Damian Lillard had 18 points and nine assists, while Jusuf Nurkic added 14 points and nine rebounds. The Blazers, who had lost three of their previous four games as they jockey for playoff position in the Western Conference, led by as many as 29 points.

Devin Booker led the Suns with 23 points.

After the Blazers built a 111-89 lead in the final quarter, the Moda Center fans started heading for the exits. McCollum was the only starter that played in the fourth.

Jamal Crawford pulled Phoenix to within five at 123-118 with a 3-pointer with 10.5 seconds left, but the rally fell short. It was Portland’s 10th straight victory over the Suns.

The Blazers (40-26) were coming off a wild overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night, their first game home following a 5-2 road trip. Jusuf Nurkic got a second technical in the final minute of regulation and had to sit out of the extra period, and Portland lost 129-121.

The loss dropped the Blazers to fifth in the Western Conference standings behind the Thunder.

The Suns, with just 15 wins this season, sit at the bottom of the conference standings.

Tied at 25 early in the second quarter, the Blazers started to pull away. A dunk from Maurice Harkless put Portland up 49-36 and the Blazers went on to lead 66-47 at halftime. Portland had 42 points in the second quarter to tie a season high for the period.

With four 3-pointers early in the second half, Portland extended the lead to 80-56. Portland went up 102-77 to end the third quarter, capped by Anfernee Simons’ 3-pointer. It was his first NBA 3.

Booker, who had 41 points Wednesday in a 107-96 victory over the Knicks, had 14 points in the third quarter alone.


Suns: Deandre Ayton had 12 points in the opening half, giving him 1,001 points in his 61st game. Only two Suns have reached 1,000 in fewer than 61: Walter Davis (43rd game) and Alvan Adams (53rd). ... The Suns haven’t won at the Moda Center since Oct. 31, 2015.

Trail Blazers: In the big second quarter, Portland outscored the Suns 42-24. ... Rodney Hood left the game with right hip soreness.

KANTER SUPPORT: Blazers center Enes Kanter gained a supporter this week when Oregon Congressman Ron Wyden urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to tell Turkish leaders that retribution against Kanter for his criticism of their government is “unacceptable.”

Kanter, who has been outspoken in his disapproval of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, did not travel with the Blazers to Toronto while on the road trip, fearing reprisal. Kanter’s Turkish passport has been revoked.

“America cannot and must not stay silent in the face of such a blatant assault on free thought and expression,” Wyden said in a statement.


The Suns visit Golden State on Sunday.

The Trail Blazers visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.


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