Suns' rally denies Trail Blazers a playoff spot

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 5, 2014 at 1:11 am •  Published: April 5, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Once Gerald Green gets going, he doesn't think he can be stopped.

Green scored 18 of his 32 points in the second half and the Phoenix Suns rallied for a 109-93 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.

"That's what Gerald does," Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek said of Green, who made 12 of 20 shots from the field, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range. "When he gets going, you just kind of let him go.

"There are times when you go, 'Uh, oh, what are we going to see next?' He got a little wild, but he feels nobody can ever stop him. That's the confidence he has."

Eric Bledsoe finished with 30 points and Goran Dragic added 19 for the Suns (45-31), who denied the Blazers (49-28) a chance to clinch a Western Conference playoff berth while beating Portland for the third time in four games.

Trailing 67-57, the Suns outscored Portland 22-13 over the final 6:48 of the third quarter to pull within 80-77, then scored the first seven points of the fourth to take the lead for good.

Robin Lopez and LaMarcus Aldridge each scored 18 points for the Blazers, who had their four-game win streak snapped and dropped two games behind Houston for the West's No. 4 playoff spot.

"I'm glad we don't have to play Phoenix anymore," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "Obviously, they're active on the offensive glass and extra possessions hurt us. Usually I like our chances when we hold a team to 40 percent shooting, but give the Suns credit."

The Suns, battling Dallas and Memphis for the West's final two playoff berths, took the lead for good at 81-80 when Green threw the ball off the backboard and dunked to open the fourth quarter, touching off a 20-5 run that all but put the game out of reach with 5:07 remaining.

Markieff Morris scored 12 points for the Suns, who finished with a 59-48 advantage in rebounds, a 24-6 advantage in fast-break points, and a 48-32 edge in points in the paint.

"We just had a little more determination, I guess," said Bledsoe, who scored 14 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter. "Everybody knew if we'd lost this game, it was going to be tougher going forward."

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