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Game Preview: Phoenix Suns take on young, talented Portland Trail Blazers…again

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The Suns conclude an early season home-and-home set with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns at Portland Trail Blazers

Time: 7:00 pm

TV: Fox Sports Arizona

Radio: 98.7 FM

Welcome to 31sts with Deadpoolio! If it's the 31st of the month and the Suns are in action, you're gonna be stuck with me — at least until the grown-up writers on this site realize what a colossal mistake it was letting me do these.

The opponent

After pounding the New Orleans Pelicans into the ground like a tent stake in their season opener, the Blazers fell to the Suns last night 110-92. Damian Lillard led all players with 24 points, but the Blazers as a team were held to 39.5-percent shooting from the field. Portland shot 50 percent in its season-opening win at home, so it will be interesting to see which shooting percentage falls closer to reality for the rebuilding Blazers.

Also of note, only Detroit (54.3) is averaging more rebounds per game than Phoenix's 54 per contest. That was a factor in Portland's loss yesterday, with the Blazers being outrebounded by Phoenix 55-42, including 33-16 in the matchup of bigs. Portland fared much better on the glass in its first game, pulling down 51 caroms. It is a tad premature to anoint Phoenix as a dominant rebounding team, but it is worth watching to see if the Suns can limit the effectiveness of Portland's bigs on the glass in consecutive games.

Injury Report

Suns: No injuries to report.

Blazers: Gerald Henderson has not played this season as he recovers from offseason hip surgery and remains questionable for tonight. Rookie Cliff Alexander is out with a knee injury.

Deadpoolio's Pre-Game Neat-o Stat (brought to you by basketball-reference.com)

Coming into 2015-16, the Suns had 14 seasons where they faced the Portland Trail Blazers at least once in their first three games. This season makes it 15. While the NBA schedule-makers love pitting Phoenix against Portland early in the season, the Blazers are not first on this list. That distinction goes to the Warriors, having squared off against the Suns in 16 different seasons within the first three games.