Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 3)

Series starts 12/5

Game 1: Sunday, December 5th
Trail Blazers99
Game 2: Sunday, January 2nd
Trail Blazers98Final
Game 3: Saturday, March 5th
Trail Blazers116Final

Suns 121

(14-3, 8-1 away)

Trail Blazers 99

(8-8, 5-3 home)

6:00 PM ET, December 5, 2004

Moda Center, Portland, OR

1 2 3 4 T
PHX 29 33 37 22121
POR 30 20 26 2399

Top Performers

Phoenix: Q. Richardson 37 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Portland: Z. Randolph 24 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Ast

Suns crush Blazers for 14th victory

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Quentin Richardson used some long-range shooting to end the Phoenix Suns' short losing spell.

Richardson had his own 12-point run, on four 3-pointers, and scored 37 points to lift the Suns to a 121-99 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

He made eight 3s overall to help Phoenix (14-3) forget about its 97-93 loss Friday to Minnesota that snapped a nine-game winning streak.

"I definitely felt like I couldn't miss," Richardson said. "The way those shots came down I didn't think I was going to miss."

Richardson matched his career high for made 3-pointers, set against Boston last February, and equaled his career best with 12 attempts, reached twice before.

Shawn Marion had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Suns, who led by as many as 25 points.

"For us to regroup and get a good win over a good team, it says a lot about us, especially on the road," Marion said. "Sometimes it takes a little bit more off of you on the road."

The Blazers, coming off a 99-89 loss in Seattle on Saturday night, were led by Zach Randolph with 24 points and 11 rebounds. It was his ninth double-double of the season.

After the game, coach Maurice Cheeks huddled with his players. Later he suggested some lineup changes might be in store for the Blazers, who host Boston on Thursday.

"I'm not saying I'm going to do it but I'll be thinking about it," he said.

Forward Ruben Patterson, who plays in a reserve role, agreed that changes are needed for the 8-8 Blazers.

"Whatever happens, happens," Patterson said. "But something has to happen because we're not winning."

The teams went back and forth for most of the first half, until Richardson hit four straight 3-pointers to make it 55-47 for the Suns.

His first, with an assist from Steve Nash, gave Phoenix a 46-45 lead. After another with Nash's help, Portland's Damon Stoudamire answered with a jumper, but then Richardson hit his third, with an assist from Amare Stoudemire. His last in the streak came with help from Marion.

His next try, with 2:36 left in the half, just missed, but he made another with 1:26 to give Phoenix a 60-47 lead.

He was 6-for-9 from 3-point range in the first half, topping his season high of five accomplished at Cleveland on Nov. 10.

"Once he gets on a roll like that, he's very tough to stop," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said.

Richardson was also 5-for-5 from the free-throw line, and the Suns made 20 of their 25 foul shots.

Stoudemire, who had 19 points, rubbed it in with an alley-oop dunk followed by another dunk that made it 89-66 for Phoenix in the third period.

Nash added 10 points and 11 assists for the Suns.

"I thought we would be a good team but I think it's important for us to realize that we're a long ways from being as good as we can be," Nash said.

Shereef Abdur-Rahim had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers.

Game notes

Portland guard Nick Van Exel had to leave the game against the Sonics because of a hip pointer, but he was back against the Suns. ... The teams split four games with each other last season. ... Richardson has made multiple 3-pointers in five of his last six games. ... Richardson and Blazers forward Darius Miles are friends, dating to their childhood. They were featured in a documentary called "The Youngest Guns," about their first two seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 121 99
FGM-FGA 43-90 (.478) 37-89 (.416)
3PM-3PA 15-27 (.556) 0-9 (.000)
FTM-FTA 20-25 (.800) 25-30 (.833)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 18-44 19-46
Assists 26 18
Turnovers 13 16
Steals 5 9
Blocks 8 4
Fast Break Points 11 5
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (1/0) 22 (1/0)
Largest Lead 25 7

Top Performers

Quentin Richardson Richardson
Points: 37
Reb: 4
Ast: 2
Stl: 1
Blk: 1
Zach Randolph Randolph
Points: 24
Reb: 11
Ast: 2
Stl: 0
Blk: 0