January 17, 2018 / 5:42 AM / in a year

Backcourt boosts Blazers past Suns

Guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 58 points Tuesday night as the Portland Trail Blazers outgunned Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns 118-111 at Moda Center in Portland, Ore.

Lillard finished with 31 points on just 19 shot attempts and also dished out seven assists while McCollum contributed 27 points. The duo combined to sink 10 of 17 3-point tries as Portland finished 17 of 35 from behind the arc.

Al-Farouq Aminu added 14 for the Trail Blazers, while Evan Turner scored 12 points and reserve guard Shabazz Napier hit for 11 while collecting six assists.

Booker starred in defeat, gunning in a game-high 43 points on 14-of-29 shooting from the field. Booker, who made all of his 10 free throws, also chipped in six rebounds and eight assists, but it wasn’t enough for Phoenix.

Troy Daniels scored 18 points off the bench for the Suns, going 6 of 11 from 3-point range. Tyler Ulis hit for 11 points and reserve Isaiah Canaan tallied 10.

Phoenix led late in a high-scoring first quarter when the Portland guards went to work, switching the game’s momentum for good.

Napier drilled a 3-pointer at the 1:47 mark, followed by a trey from McCollum right after a Suns turnover. Lillard finished the period with a driving layup 1.6 seconds before the horn, giving the Trail Blazers a 36-31 advantage.

Lillard and McCollum were again involved in a late-quarter surge to end the first half. After a Ulis bucket pulled Phoenix within 60-51, Lillard sank three foul shots and McCollum followed with a 3-pointer to make it 66-51 at the half.

Lillard’s driving layup with 2:38 left in the third quarter upped the Portland lead to 92-67, and the Blazers settled for a 92-72 margin heading to the fourth quarter.

The Trail Blazers finished the night at 50.5 percent from the field while holding the Suns to 41.6 percent from the floor. Each team finished with 43 rebounds.

—Field Level Media

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