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Lillard Showcases Blazers Resilience, Last Suns in 113-111 OT Thriller

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It seemed like a matter of time before Damian Lillard delivered one of those vintages. “He is back” performances. Setting the table for a 28-point storybook performance in the first half, the Portland Trail Blazers star held off the Phoenix Suns’ attack long enough for the cavalry to arrive in the second half. After a 41-point, seven-rebound win, Portland had enough of a win for a thrilling 113-111.

The victory carries the Blazers to a perfect 2-0, both coming in close, single-digit games. Below are just a few other takeaways from the win.

About Dame Time:

There was some chatter ahead of the Friday night game that Lillard wasn’t looking. as a spry and fast as in previous years in the win over Sacramento in the season opener; The Blazers star only needed one half to make this a topic for the archives.

In a 28-point halftime, Lillard showed his patented side-step 3-pointer; He showed the jump needed to score through the trees in the paint against Phoenix – in short, He showed the Suns everything but mercy.

The performance itself could not be celebrated until the reinforcements arrived. After halftime, Lillard single-shot 8 of 12 from the field, 4 out of 7 deep and 8 out of 8 from the relief lane. The rest of your teammates? 6 out of 22 from the field, 9 out of 1 from deep and 8 out of 6 from charity strip.

Chance changed in that second half; After the stunning Blazers game, Jerami Grant, who went without a first half shot attempt, raised his bet, and names like Josh Hart, Nassir Little, Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simons, among others, helped balance the scoring load. .

Finally, Lillard faced a tough challenge for the second night in a row, this time to 2021-22 Defensive Player of the Year Mikal Bridges. Still, the All-Stars delivered, and Dame Time did just that with express shipping. Not to mention giving Ayton “Gilbert Arenas to LeBron James in the free throw line treatment” during those two missed free throws that cemented Portland’s victory.

In the region:

After the Sacramento game, Justise Winslow stated in the post-game edition that the Blazers didn’t practice a ton of “little ball formations.” But for the second time in a row, this impromptu grouping with Grant, Winslow and Drew Eubanks – or a mix of the two – played a crucial role in fueling the comeback attempt.

According to the Second Spectrum follow-up, the Blazers’ defense ranked #1 in district rally (749) last season. So, like a customer with a gift card, you knew Chauncey Billups would pull the card out of her back pocket at some point.

It didn’t work to perfection with any stretch. Portland parked their defenders on the nail, ready to turn, but Devin Booker was essentially hammer to that nail. He fell into place with relative ease on his way to a 33-point game 11-23 from the field.

Ayton won “Who can shoot more floats over the rotating guards” He scored 26 points on a 22/12 field goal against Nurkic, and Bridges took advantage of the Suns’ match-up hunt and hit the Blazers guards from start to finish.

Still, sometimes the ultimate goal in a region is to slow down a team’s rhythm and give them a different look. And given the win, he did it successfully. But teams with 64 wins, like the Suns in 2021-22, were not accidental, and they nearly weathered the storm well enough to win.

A Game of Running and Whistling:

Don’t look now, but the Blazers are officially 2-0 in single digits. Despite not taking the first lead until the 10:27 mark of the fourth quarter, they got a chance to show their stamina against the Blazers. multiple Phoenix’s runs that could change the game.

One of the benefits of having so many bold, lunch-bucket talents on this year’s roster is that they’re ready to be a lot more aggressive. Portland finished 16th in free throw attempts last season (21.6); They’ve shot 33 and 36 shots in two games this year, numbers that should put them to #1 in the NBA in that regard until tonight. Sample size is important, but when you look at tonight’s penalty points, Phoenix’s 21 against the Blazers’ 36 free throws will inevitably stand out.

As noted in the Ayton section above, it’s worth wondering how differently the game is played if he doesn’t get into foul trouble. But chalk it up as a potential benefit of that area.

To the benefit of the Blazers, Lillard counted 12 tries, Josh Hart’s relentless engine helped make a cameo in the line, Nurkic went in nine tries (two in the second half hitting eight, including the clutch as usual), and that’s his fourth-place control helped capture and ultimately beat last year’s #1 seeded team.

Other notes:

– Anfernee Simons had a hard time shooting tonight, only 5 of 17. However, part of his “graduation” will come down to what he does when he rises to whatever his next level is. really important fourth. Shots not to be missed.

— Spurs fans will have enjoyed this game by watching Jock Landale and Drew Eubanks battle their way through the second units with unending energy.

— After a somewhat slow first half, Nurkic seemed to have woken up in the second half. We can say that the post-ups slowed the pace of the game, but after getting into rhythm with these pocket passes with Lillard, he got in shape with an excellent 20-point, 17-rebound game.

– Shaedon Sharpe’s second game didn’t show these offensive fireworks, but plus minus – plus 7 – was the high of the team. The winning games were there.

– Nassir Little had a strong time while continuing to get in shape. A few weeks before the Clippers pre-season game, he noted that he made only a few full-court offenses to get his wind back. It’s reassuring, his energy has to be there and he has a three-pointer to fall; If this becomes a consistent event, watch out.

Next:

— If you haven’t already, check out Dave Deckard’s snapshot of tonight’s game.

— Box Points

— Portland takes a well-deserved Saturday break with the Los Angeles Lakers to claim their first win at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 23, before the Sunday afternoon matinee.

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