Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker was on the attack from the jump.
Booker’s offensive prowess coupled with a sloppy start on the road for the Trail Blazers meant Portland found itself in a hole early in Monday’s game.
At the end of the first quarter, the Blazers only trailed by six after notching seven turnovers.
But the Suns defense and ball movement on the other end helped Phoenix push the lead to nine at halftime.
In the second half, the Suns picked up the pace and picked up the scoring as Phoenix handed Portland its second straight loss with a 132-100 blowout.
Damian Lillard found his open teammates working the baseline late in the second quarter to help the Blazers keep it close in the first half even after Booker scored 22-first-half points.
The third quarter, though, was all Phoenix.
Heading into the final period, the Blazers were down 100-71.
And that's when the veterans went to the bench.
Phoenix has now won its 12th game of the last 14.
The Blazers second unit brought a quick scoring punch early.
Carmelo Anthony and Rodney Hood made a big impact both inside and out on the offensive end in the first half. But it was Hood who also showed off his active hands at the other end. After a steal from Chris Paul, Hood took it himself coast to coast and the Blazers took a 33-32 lead early in the second quarter.
Hood was feeling it in the first half. He took over primary ball handler duties at times in the second half to give Lillard an of the ball option. Hood finished with nine points on 4-of-6 shooting in just 20 minutes of work.
In garage time, Nassir Little brought the energy and the scoring. He finished with 18.
Portland was playing behind the eight ball after giving up so many turnovers so quickly against a red-hot Suns team.
Between too many turnovers and an off three-point shooting night, the Blazers didn’t really seem to have a chance to get the W.
Devin Booker made a living in the paint bodying up different defenders on the block. He recorded 17 points in his first 10-minute-stint on 6-of-8 shooting.
The Blazers didn't have an answer for Booker.
The Suns star continued to roll, scoring, 34, while Suns big man DeAndre Ayton also got in on the action.
Phoenix threw several taller defenders at Damian Lillard throughout the night.
Whether it was Suns forward Mikal Bridges, forward Cameron Johnson, forward Jae Crowder, Phoenix pressured Lillard and at times sent two defenders at him. With a lengthier defender on him, Lillard still got to the rim. He also swung the ball around to find his teammates, especially early. But the Suns were able to slow down Lillard’s recent scoring tear. After averaging 30 points last week, Lillard finished with 24 after sitting out of the final period.
Rodney Hood was Portland’s spark plug off the bench Monday night:
The Blazers average just 11 turnovers a game, but they committed nine in the first half and a total of 15 for the game.
Next up: The Trail Blazers will play in their second night of a back-to-back in Denver Tuesday night. The Blazers and Nuggets are scheduled to tip-off at 7:00pm on TNT.