The Phoenix Suns clinched their fourth consecutive victory on Monday night, defeating the Portland Trail Blazers with a decisive score of 109-88. Despite missing star player Kevin Durant, the Suns showcased a well-rounded team effort with seven players scoring in double figures.
Team Effort Fuels Suns' Victory
Bradley Beal, returning from an ankle injury, led the team with 21 points. His presence on the court was pivotal, as teammate
Jusuf Nurkic, who played against his former team and scored 18 points, acknowledged: “He changes everything.The Suns' star, Devin Booker, faced a challenging night, managing only 10 points on 4-of-16 shooting.
It's simple. We depend on him." Chimezie Metu, filling in for Durant, contributed 14 points, while Grayson Allen and Eric Gordon, coming off the bench, added 12 points each.
However, he compensated with eight rebounds and six assists. Bol Bol also stepped up in Durant's absence, scoring 11 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Durant, who had scored 31 points in the Suns’ previous victory over Orlando, was sidelined due to right hamstring tightness.
Coach Frank Vogel explained that Durant had tweaked his hamstring late in the previous game and was considered day-to-day. The Suns' defense was particularly noteworthy, as they allowed their lowest point total of the season.
Vogel credited the bench for their defensive efforts, stating, “We were getting a lot of stops and getting out on the break, and things are a lot easier when you're not taking the ball out of your own basket and not fouling.
Our bench tonight gets the game ball”.
Trail Blazers Struggle Continues
For the Trail Blazers, Scoot Henderson led with 17 points, while Jerami Grant added 15 points. Malcolm Brogdon and Jabari Walker each contributed 10 points.
Despite a strong start, leading 29-20 after the first quarter, Portland was significantly outscored in the following periods. The Trail Blazers were without former Phoenix center Deandre Ayton, sidelined by right knee tendinitis, and Toumani Camara, who also missed the game with right knee soreness.
Coach Chauncey Billups acknowledged the team's struggles, particularly in the second quarter, and the ongoing challenge of securing road victories.