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Oct. 19, 2021

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Suns rout Blazers in preseason matchup

Booker scores 17 in preseason debut for Phoenix

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Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) looks to pass as Portland Portland Trail Blazers forward Norman Powell (24) defends during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Phoenix.
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) looks to pass as Portland Portland Trail Blazers forward Norman Powell (24) defends during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Photo Gallery

PHOENIX — Devin Booker showed in his preseason debut he’s ready to lead the Phoenix Suns to another run at an NBA championship.

Booker scored 17 points in 18 minutes in the first half of the Suns’ 119-74 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.

Booker missed the beginning of training camp and the Suns’ first three preseason games after testing positive for COVID-19, despite being vaccinated. Suns coach Monty Williams said Booker’s conditioning had improved enough to play in the game.

Damian Lillard led Portland with 12 points. Robert Covington and CJ McCollum had 10 points while Jusuf Nurkic added eight points and 13 rebounds.

The Trail Blazers were only 6 of 39 on 3s.

With Booker on the court, the Suns looked ready for a repeat trip to the NBA Finals after losing to the Milwaukee Bucks last season. Booker shot 6 of 10 from the field, including 3 of 6 on 3-pointers, as Phoenix led 59-38 at halftime. He sat out the second half.

Booker, a two-time All-Star, averaged 25.6 points last season.

The Suns made 16 of 41 3-pointers, including three by Landry Shamet, who had 12 points, and three by Cameron Johnson, who had 11.

Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said his team’s travel plans back to Portland were adjusted so players would be able to attend Wednesday night’s WNBA Finals game between the Chicago Sky and Phoenix Mercury at Footprint Center.

SUNS 119, TRAIL BLAZERS 74

PORTLAND (74) — Covington 3-9 2-2 10, Powell 3-8 2-3 8, Nurkic 2-7 4-4 8, Lillard 5-11 1-2 12, McCollum 3-14 2-2 10, Blevins 0-3 0-0 0, Brown III 2-7 0-0 4, Chriss 0-1 0-0 0, Nance Jr. 1-2 0-0 2, Patterson 1-3 0-0 2, Watford 2-4 0-2 4, Cook 0-0 0-0 0, Elleby 2-7 0-0 5, McLemore 0-2 0-0 0, Smith Jr. 1-6 7-10 9. Totals 25-84 18-25 74.

PHOENIX (119) — Bridges 2-6 0-0 6, Crowder 2-6 0-0 5, Ayton 4-7 0-0 8, Booker 6-10 2-2 17, Payne 2-4 1-1 5, Johnson 4-8 0-0 11, Nader 4-8 1-1 11, McGee 5-8 0-0 10, Kaminsky 2-5 1-2 5, Smith 2-7 5-6 9, Hutchison 2-3 2-2 7, Payton 4-9 0-0 8, Randle 2-4 0-0 5, Shamet 4-6 1-1 12. Totals 45-91 13-15 119.

Portland 11 27 22 14— 74

Phoenix 23 36 34 26—119

3-Point Goals—Portland 6-39 (Covington 2-7, McCollum 2-7, Elleby 1-5, Lillard 1-6, Brown III 0-2, Nurkic 0-2, Powell 0-2, Blevins 0-3), Phoenix 16-41 (Shamet 3-5, Booker 3-6, Johnson 3-6, Nader 2-3, Bridges 2-5, Hutchison 1-2, Randle 1-2, Crowder 1-5, Kaminsky 0-2, Smith 0-2). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Portland 45 (Nurkic 13), Phoenix 55 (Ayton 11). Assists—Portland 12 (McCollum 4), Phoenix 30 (Payton 9). Total Fouls—Portland 22, Phoenix 17.

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