Suns at Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers allowed an average of 120 points while losing all three games of a road excursion. The Trail Blazers aim to toughen up defensively when they open a three-game homestand with Tuesday’s tilt against the Phoenix Suns.
Not only did Portland have trouble stopping the Minnesota Timberwolves during Sunday’s 120-103 setback, the squad tallied just 10 second-quarter points and finished with 18 turnovers. “Our offense really hit the skids,” Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts said afterward. “We didn’t shoot it well, we didn’t pass it well, we turned the ball over. Minnesota took advantage of it, so it was a big hole.” Portland has won its last five games against Phoenix, which was pummeled 120-97 by the Indiana Pacers on Sunday for its fourth loss in the past five games. “I just thought we lacked juice, I don’t know why, at both ends,” Suns interim coach Jay Triano told reporters. “Our cuts weren’t precise offensively, and defensively we were a half-step behind them every time they made a move.”
TV: 10 p.m. ET, NBATV, FS Arizona (Phoenix), NBCS Northwest (Portland)
ABOUT THE SUNS (16-28): Veteran center Tyson Chandler has posted seven consecutive double-digit outings on the boards and collected 14 against the Pacers to become the 40th player in NBA history to reach 10,000 career rebounds. “When you come into this league as a young player, you don’t know what to expect and you’re just trying to survive,” Chandler told reporters. “Now, I’m right at a part of my career to be able to start to get some of these milestones. Just reminds you of the all the hard work, the journey, the sacrifices that you have to make and everything that you’ve done, to be in position to hit some of these.” The 35-year-old Chandler, who has 10,003 career rebounds, is averaging 6.7 points and 9.9 rebounds during his 17th NBA campaign.
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (22-21): Standout point guard Damian Lillard is just 5-of-23 from 3-point range during the losing streak but he has reached 100 makes for the season to join Golden State’s Klay Thompson as the only players in NBA history with 100 or more in each of their first six NBA seasons. Lillard has tallied 25 or more points in six consecutive games against the Suns and is averaging 26 points and seven assists in two contests this season. Shooting guard CJ McCollum has six straight 20-point outings against Phoenix and is averaging 26.8 points and 5.3 assists during the stretch.
1. The Trail Blazers are 2-0 against Phoenix this season, including a 124-76 season-opening win on Oct. 18 in which the 48-point margin represents the worst loss in Suns’ history.
2. Phoenix SF TJ Warren (lower back soreness) is expected to play after sitting out Sunday.
3. Portland starting PF Al-Farouq Aminu has more turnovers (33) than assists (32) through 30 games played.