PORTLAND, Ore. — Eric Bledsoe got the best of the Portland Trail Blazers again.
Bledsoe scored 33 points, one shy of his career high, and the Phoenix Suns defeated Portland 101-90 on Saturday night.
The teams were playing the second of a back-to-back against each other. The night before in Phoenix, the Suns prevailed 110-92 and Bledsoe had 22 points in that one.
Damian Lillard, the lone Portland starter left over from last season, had 23 points for the Blazers, who are still getting accustomed to all the new faces.
CJ McCollum, who had a career-high 37 points in Portland’s season-opening victory against New Orleans last Wednesday, had 16 against the Suns in Phoenix then 15 at home.
Tyson Chandler, signed by the Suns in the offseason, had 15 points and 13 rebounds in the win on Friday, but had five points and 11 rebounds in Portland.
Meyers Leonard’s consecutive jumpers gave Portland a 79-78 lead in the fourth quarter but Bledsoe answered with a jumper.
Brandon Knight banked a layup to put Phoenix ahead 88-81 with 4:20 left and Portland could not catch up. Knight finished with 27 points.
The game was contentious at the start, when Mason Plumlee and Chandler started pushing and exchanged words. Both players were given technical fouls.
The Suns led for much of the first half. Portland briefly took a 32-30 lead in the second quarter on Alan Crabbe’s 3-pointer, but it was short-lived.
Markieff Morris hit a 3-pointer that gave the Suns a 54-43 lead in the midst of a 14-5 run to end the first half. Al-Farouq Aminu made a 3-pointer for the Blazers to close within 56-48.
Blazers: Maurice Harkless started the second half in place of Leonard, who missed all three shots from the field. He finished 3 of 8.
Suns: Morris got into foul trouble early, collecting his fourth early in the third quarter, and was subbed out in favor of Jon Leuer. … The Suns lost their opener at home to Dallas 111-95 last Wednesday. … Bledsoe’s career high is 34, at Houston last March.
Asked if he liked the back-to-back against the same team in different cities, Blazers coach Terry Stotts said he didn’t mind it. “After you get beat you have a chance to make up for it right away,” he said.
Trail Blazers: Visit Minnesota on Monday.
Suns: Visit Clippers on Monday.