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Phoenix Suns end preseason play with loss to Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers guard Wade Baldwin IV, center, passes the ball as Phoenix Suns forwards Josh Jackson, left, and Dragan Bender defend during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

The Phoenix Suns have been a mixed bag in preseason play, and a game after beating the Golden State Warriors on the road, they had a poor performance in Portland.

The Suns dropped their preseason finale to the Trail Blazers 116-83.

Despite the Blazers resting their best players like Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, it was apparent the Suns didn’t have the energy to compete.

After one quarter, they trailed 39-18. Portland wing Jake Layman had 18 points for himself in the first quarter, matching the Suns’ total. Layman finished with a game-high 28.

Ryan Anderson (five), Trevor Ariza (seven) and T.J. Warren (seven) did not play double-digit minutes.

Deandre Ayton played only 15 minutes and had nine points and four rebounds.

Once again, Josh Jackson was given lots of playing time.  He finished with 13 points and four assists in 28 minutes Wednesday night. In the team’s five preseason games, Jackson has averaged 32.8 minutes a game.

In what has been a rough preseason for Dragan Bender, head coach Igor Kokoskov let the third-year big get some run with a team-high 36 minutes. Bender finished with seven points, five rebounds and three assists.

At point guard, Isaiah Canaan earned the last preseason start while all three other point guards played off the bench. Canaan and rookie Elie Okobo each started one preseason game while Shaquille Harrison got the nod in the other three.


The Suns open the regular season on Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks at 7:30 p.m. You can listen live to the action on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

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