Suns squander 16-point lead, lose to Blazers; ex-Wildcat Ayton to return Tuesday

Suns squander 16-point lead, lose to Blazers; ex-Wildcat Ayton to return Tuesday

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Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum (3) drives on Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes (46) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Damian Lillard scored 27 points, including a crucial three-point play with 26 seconds left, and the Portland Trail Blazers bounced back from a 16-point deficit in the first half to beat the Phoenix Suns 111-110 on Monday night.

With Portland trailing 110-108, Lillard drove straight through the lane and made a layup while crashing into Aron Baynes, who was called for a blocking foul. Lillard hit the free throw to make it 111-110, and Phoenix couldn't score on its final possession as Ricky Rubio's 3-point attempt bounced off the rim with two seconds left.

CJ McCollum led the Blazers with 30 points.

Portland led for most of the fourth quarter but Phoenix pulled ahead 110-108 with 32 seconds left when Kelly Oubre Jr. converted a four-point play. He took an inbounds pass from Rubio and nailed a 3-pointer while being fouled, then hit the free throw.

Oubre led Phoenix with 24 points. Dario Saric and Frank Kaminsky III both added 17 for the Suns, who played a second straight game without star guard Devin Booker because of his right forearm injury.

Portland has won 11 straight against the Suns. The Blazers trailed 49-33 midway through the second quarter but methodically worked their way back into the game.

Portland pulled ahead for the first time midway through the third when McCollum's 3-pointer made it 82-80. The Blazers took a 90-88 advantage into the fourth quarter.

Carmelo Anthony, who scored 23 points, hit a 3 to put the Blazers ahead 100-97 with seven minutes left. The 35-year-old Anthony also made a turnaround jumper over Oubre with less than three minutes remaining that pushed Portland's advantage to six.

Hassan Whiteside added 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Blazers.

Phoenix lost for the fourth time in five games.

The Suns grabbed an early 11-3 lead and stayed ahead for the entire first half, taking a 67-59 advantage into the break. Oubre and Saric both scored 13 points for Phoenix, while Kaminsky added 12. McCollum led the Blazers with 18.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: G Mario Hezonja (back spasms) didn't play in the second half. ... The Blazers improved to 11-16.

Suns: It was the final game of ex-Arizona Wildcat Deandre Ayton's 25-game suspension for violating the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program after testing positive for a diuretic. He can return Tuesday on the road against the Clippers. ... G Tyler Johnson missed the game because of an illness. ... Baynes finished with 13 points. It was his fourth straight game with at least 10 off the bench. ... Phoenix fell to 11-15.

UP NEXT

The Trail Blazers return home to face Golden State on Wednesday.

The Suns travel to face the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.

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