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Suns hold off Blazers 102-98

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 20, 2013 at 12:57 am •  Published: February 20, 2013
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It was the first of a back-to-back for Phoenix, which visits the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday as trade rumors continue to swirl around the team. Coach Lindsey Hunter said before the game that his focus is on the Suns, which has the worst record in the Western Conference.

"I'm sure if something gets serious, I'll know about it," he said. The trade deadline is Thursday.

Last season at the deadline the Blazers fired coach Nate McMillan and traded away both Gerald Wallace and Marcus Camby. This season most trade talk is about Hickson, who must agree to any deal.

The Suns jumped out to a 12-0 lead to start the game, led by Scola with six points. Portland did not score until Hickson's jumper with 7:17 left in the first quarter. The Blazers were playing catch-up the rest of the way, and trailed 36-23 at the end of the quarter.

The Suns extended the lead to 40-25 on Johnson's 16-foot-jumper and led 63-47 at the half.

Phoenix went up 71-56 on Jared Dudley's long jumper, but the Blazers pulled within 71-63 on Aldridge's bank shot. Portland couldn't get closer than eight points and trailed 84-73 to open the fourth quarter.

Portland pulled to with 96-89 on Aldridge's layup and freer throw before Lillard's 3-pointer.

"We played well, especially the first two quarters and then they played better defense," Dragic said. "We were struggling a bit, especially in the fourth quarter. In the last three or four minutes we couldn't get a clean shot, but we fought until the end. It was a great win for us."

Notes: Portland had won the last seven games against the Suns at the Rose Garden.... Hickson's 28 double-doubles match his career high for a season. ... Baltimore Ravens tight end and former Oregon Duck Ed Dickson was at the game and even threw T-shirts into the crowd during a timeout. ... Dragic has six games this season with double-digit assists. ... Blazers owner Paul Allen, on the passing of Lakers owner Jerry Buss, said: "At a time when professional basketball needed an infusion of new thinking and vision, Dr. Buss stepped forward in ways that truly redefined our game on and off the court." Buss died on Monday.