Suns Finally Take Down Blazers, Positive All-Around Bench Performance Guides Team

Mark J. Rebilas – USA Today Sports

Suns finally snap their two game losing streak this season against the Portland Trailblazers winning in convincing fashion on Saturday Night 102-82 to move to 7-2 and an equally impressive 6-1 at home.

Phoenix got big performances from the usual suspects with 24 points in 29 minutes from Devin Booker and solid supporting games from CP3 and Mikal Bridges combining for 26 points. However, the starters did not have to do much in a game where the Suns were in control for the whole time with their largest lead being 29. This was in large part due to the bench having great all-around contributions with 40 combined points and 6 blocks (largely thanks to Bizzy accounting for half of them, an absolute force in the paint).

One of these contributors is Dario Saric, who had his best overall game of the season with 9 Points and 9 Rebounds and a steal in 21 minutes. After coming off an ACL injury suffered in the 2021 Finals that kept him out the entirety of the 2021-22 Season, his most recent return to action before the season was participating in the FIBA World Championship over the summer representing the Croatian National Team. Really a great sign to see Saric log some consistent minutes at the backup four sport, which is a very depleted position with the recent loss of Cam Johnson and Torrey Craig being called up to the starting spot.

This win was a great confidence booster for a team facing injury troubles including both Cam Payne (injury management) and Johnson, who was rumored to have been diagnosed with a torn achilles in Friday’s matchup vs. the Blazers. Prayers go up to Cam J in order to make a speedy recovery, and hopes the injury is not as serious as reported. Johnson has not had a break with injuries throughout his career, and this recent development is yet another setback in a crucial year before Johnson hits RFA next off-season.

Tonight’s win logs in as the last home game in a 6-game stand before the Suns hit the road and face Philly on the road on Monday. The 76ers also are a team facing injury concerns with stars James Harden, who is already reported to miss a month and Joel Embiid who’s status is currently uncertain.

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