Dragic, Bledsoe help Suns over Blazers
PHOENIX (AP) Goran Dragic scored 26 points and Eric Bledsoe added 22, leading the Phoenix Suns to a 104-91 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night and giving Jeff Hornacek a win in his coaching debut.
The Suns' Miles Plumlee scored 18 points, 16 in the first half, and grabbed 15 rebounds in his first NBA start. He scored 13 points all of last season while mostly riding the bench as a rookie for Indiana.
P.J. Tucker also scored 18, all but two in the second half, for Phoenix.
Damian Lillard scored 32, including 6 of 12 3-pointers, for the Trail Blazers. LaMarcus Aldridge added 28.
Portland fell behind by 16 in the first half and 17 in the second before getting within five with 3:15 left.
Lillard made his final 3 of the night, then after a Phoenix turnover Robin Lopez made one of two free throws to cut Phoenix's lead to 96-91, but Dragic made a pair of jumpers and the Suns pulled away, scoring the final eight points of the game.
Hornacek's double point-guard starting backcourt of Dragic and Bledsoe combined for 48 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds.
Phoenix has just four players from last season's 25-57 team. Bledsoe came in the trade that sent Jared Dudley to the Los Angeles Clippers. Plumlee was part of the Luis Scola trade with Indiana.
The Suns used an early 14-2 run to go up 25-12. A goaltending call on Dragic's layup after a Portland turnover made it 29-15.
Gerald Green's 17-footer for the first basket of the second quarter gave Phoenix a 32-16 lead.
The Trail Blazers were down 48-37 after Bledsoe's 20-footer with 1:40 left in the half, but Lillard finished the quarter with three straight 3s, the last at the buzzer, in a 9-2 spurt that reduced the Suns' advantage to 50-46 at the break.
Portland cut it to 52-51 on Nicolas Batum's basket with 9:54 left in the third quarter, but 3s by Channing Frye and Dragic ignited a 12-0 run, with all five Suns players scoring, to increase the lead to 64-51 on Bledsoe's layup after Frye's steal.
Consecutive baskets by Marcus Morris gave Phoenix its biggest lead, 81-64, with 1:01 left in the third.
Dragic was called for a foul on Dorell Wright's 3-point attempt with 5.4 seconds left in the quarter. Wright made all three, so Phoenix was up 81-69 entering the fourth.
Frye got the start because Markieff Morris was suspended for the game for throwing an elbow at Serge Ibaka in a preseason game.
Frye missed all of last season because of an enlarged heart. He was in foul trouble much of the night and finished with seven points.
Notes: Frye hit the Suns' first 3-pointer of the season in the third quarter after they had missed their first nine. ... Portland will be without first-round draft pick C.J. McCollum for several weeks after he underwent foot surgery. The Blazers' other first-round pick, Allen Crabbe, did not play. ... Plumlee's career high at Duke was 19 points. ... Portland plays at Denver on Friday, then plays its home opener Saturday against San Antonio.
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