No matter how good or bad either team is, you can always count on a great Suns vs. Blazers game filled with highlights and lowlights that comes down to which guards make the biggest plays.
On Wednesday night, it was Eric Bledsoe having his way once again with the Blazers. Bledsoe not only hit one go-ahead shot with 1.1 seconds left in regulation...
Eric Bledsoe at one end. Meyers Leonard at the other - Suns & Blazers in OT pic.twitter.com/z8eUSvuqja— The Cauldron (ICYMI) (@CauldronICYMI) November 3, 2016
...when that wasn’t quite good enough he went ahead and made a ANOTHER go-ahead shot with 0 time left to seal the Suns win.
In other news, Eric Bledsoe just nailed a game winner https://t.co/1yGimom6Hc— The Sports Quotient (@SportsQuotient) November 3, 2016
Suns win at the buzzer in OT!!! #WeArePHX https://t.co/1GhahGqxWj— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) November 3, 2016
The Phoenix Suns are now 1-4 with a 118-115 overtime win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
”It was a great shot,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts conceded. “I mean he was well defended; he was fading out of bounds. It was a great shot but it was good defense.”
Suns fans might remember Bledsoe having trouble making big go-ahead shots for much of his early Suns career. But now Bledsoe has had enough experience in these situations to begin coming out on top when it matters most.
“I wish I could tell you I drew it up exactly like that,” Suns coach Earl Watson said. “But it never happens that way. Bled made a basketball decision, hit a big shot for the three, and the rest is history.”
Watson talked about being happy for Bledsoe, who’d spent the last year recovering from his second major knee injury since joining the Suns.
“I’ve never seen anyone work hard, and fail,” Watson said. “Never. If you work hard, it’s always going to turn for you. Good things just happen. Big day for Bled.”
The Suns players did not dwell on Bledsoe’s heroics, all talking about using this game as a springboard for more wins to come.
“Momentum,” Bledsoe said. “We just got to carry it over to the next game.”
P.J. Tucker went so far as to suggest the Suns could go on a 3-5 game winning streak. They go on the road to play the winless Pelicans on Friday, Lakers on Sunday and then the Blazers again on Tuesday before coming home to host the Pistons next Wednesday.
P.J. also crowed about Knight’s dunk. Watch the interview!
With the Suns down 90-83, just as the Blazers were trying to create separation, Brandon Knight rocked the rim to deliver his OWN poster dunk on another player.
Have mercy, @goodknight11!!! #WeArePHX https://t.co/IBSJ95VA0N— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) November 3, 2016
That dunk revved up the players and the fans, waking the crowd into a quarter-long frenzy as the Suns fought to finish of the win.
“That was a huge play,” Alex Len said after. “Everybody got on feet their feet and everybody started cheering. That was a big pump for us and he is just getting healthy as he was having trouble with ankles. Somebody who can see him, he is getting them back, his athleticism, his bounce back.”
Len had a huge game, especially in the first half with 12 points and 6 rebounds to keep the Suns around while the guards couldn’t make a bucket.
“I just decided not to settle for jumpers because I missed a few of them last game,” Len said. “So, I’m just going to the rim and tried to get fouled and be aggressive.”
Alex Len and T.J. Warren kept the Suns afloat in the first half, then Brandon Knight (16 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists) late in second half before Bledsoe and Devin Booker helped finish it off.
Definitely, a team win.
T.J. Warren was once again the Suns best scorer, pumping in 27 points - almost all of them heavily contested - and grabbing an important 7 rebounds and 2 steals.
In only five games this season, Warren has scored 25+ points in three of them. Prior to this, Warren had only two 25+ point games on his career resume. His 22.4 points per game are the most for a Suns player in their first five games of the season since Jason Richardson in 2010.
Friday night, the Suns take on the Pelicans in NOLA.