The Phoenix Suns opened their preseason on Friday night hosting the Portland Trailblazers, who started a pair of rookies. They took an early lead and never relinquished it, defeating the Blazers 104-93 in their preseason home opener.
The first quarter was all Suns. Portland took a 3-0 lead as Nicholas Batum hit his first shot, but then the Suns rattled off 11 straight points to take control of the pace and roll out to a 28-15 lead after the first quarter. In that quarter, Luis Scola led the scoring with eight points, including a three-pointer. Michael Beasley had six points, hitting a pair of threes.
The pace slowed a bit in the second quarter with the bench unit on the floor. Sebastian Telfair did not play with an arm injury. Coach Alvin Gentry said that were it the regular season, he probably would have played, but being the preseason, there was no reason to. Shannon Brown posted nine points and three assists in the half.
By the end of the first half, Portland pulled within six points, as they began hitting their shots. They shot only 25 percent in the first quarter, but improved that to 41 percent by halftime.
The Blazers got within eight points in the third, but the Suns pushed the lead back up to 15 by the end of the quarter.
It was the same story in the fourth quarter. Portland battled back to within seven, but then Phoenix pushed he lead back up to 14 with 2:35 left in the game.
For the Suns, Markieff Morris led the team in scoring with 14 points. Shannon Brown, Wes Johnson and Luis Scola all had a dozen each as well. Johnson also grabbed six rebounds.
Portland was led by rookie guard Damien Lillard's 15 points, who shot 5/13 from the field. Meyers Leonard and Nicholas Batum each had 14 points in a losing effort.