This one went from a dynamic offense with stars showing out in the first half to... well, basketball being played. The starters built enough of a cushion for the second unit to close things out despite the sloppy play in the second half.
Devin Booker and Kevin Durant led all scorers with 19 points in 15 and 18 minutes respectively. Phoenix’s 76-point first half is just an appetizer of what’s to come.
The starters for Phoenix were the big three surrounded by Grayson Allen and Drew Eubanks with Jusuf Nurkic getting the night off (rest).
Tonight's Starters:— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) October 17, 2023
☄️ Devin Booker
☄️ Bradley Beal
☄️ Grayson Allen
☄️ Kevin Durant
☄️ Drew Eubanks
Portland decided to rest the majority of their squad, rolling with a starting five of Henderson, Sharpe, Walker, Camara, and Reath.
Deandre Ayton, Jerami Grant, Malcolm Brogdon, Anfernee Simons and Matisse Thybulle were all out due to rest.
Early on there was a lot of sloppy play and fouling. Portland committed six fouls in the first six minutes of action. It was the Devin Booker show, as he scored 17 points in the first 9 minutes of action on just seven shots.
After the first quarter, Phoenix led 36-23. Booker led all scorers with 17, followed by Kevin Durant’s 6 points, and Grayson Allen’s five.
The second quarter was the Kevin Durant show. He poured in 13 points in the quarter in a flurry to extend Phoenix’s lead. Jordan Goodwin had a stretch where he recorded 4 steals in less than 5 minutes.
At the break.— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) October 17, 2023
Booker: 19 PTS, 4 AST, 2 STL
Durant: 19 PTS, 4 AST, 3 REB
Beal: 11 PTS, 2 AST, 2 STL
Allen: 11 PTS, 1 AST, 2 3PM pic.twitter.com/aSF79mltJG
Phoenix entered the half with a commanding 76-54 lead after a 40-point explosion in the second quarter.
Things slowed down a bit in the 3rd quarter, as Phoenix scored just 23 points in the quarter as they went to their second unit.
The second half was certainly a preseason basketball game. A lot of mixed rotations, sloppy play, and a stalled offense at times. That’s what happens when you aren’t playing your top guys in the preseason. It was another rehearsal filled with trial runs and experiments from Vogel as he looks to solidify the back end of the rotation.
Josh Okogie and Jordan Goodwin were all over the place, creating havoc per usual. Goodwin finished the evening with 6 steals, displaying his disruptive play.
Chimezie Metu and Keita Bates-Diop had a couple of nice flashes and Udoka Azubuike blocked a shot with his elbow.
A “We want Bol Bol” chant erupted in the Footprint Center throughout the second half and Frank Vogel finally granted Suns fans their wish.
Portland made a run late in the 4th to cut the lead down to 13 which led to a Suns timeout with 2:59 remaining in the game.
Ultimately the Suns were able to hold the Blazers’ push off and close things out. On to the next one.
The Suns will head to Palm Springs to take on the Los Angeles Lakers in their preseason finale. The game tips off this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. and will be televised on NBA TV.