Suns' rally denies Trail Blazers a playoff spot

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Reserve forward Gerald Green scored 18 of his 32 points in the second half and the Phoenix Suns rallied for a 109-93 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.

Eric Bledsoe finished with 30 points and Goran Dragic added 19 for the Suns (45-31), who denied the Blazers (49-28) a chance to clinch a Western Conference playoff berth while beating Portland for the third time in four games.

Trailing 67-57, the Suns outscored Portland 22-13 over the final 6:48 of the third quarter to pull within 80-77, then scored the first seven points of the fourth to take the lead for good.

Robin Lopez and LaMarcus Aldridge each scored 18 points for the Blazers, who had their four-game win streak snapped and dropped two games behind Houston for the West's No. 4 playoff spot.

The Suns, battling Dallas and Memphis for the West's final two playoff berths, took the lead for good at 81-80 on Green's dunk to open the fourth quarter, touching off a 20-5 run that all but put the game out of reach with 5:07 remaining.

Markieff Morris scored 12 points for the Suns, who finished with a 59-48 advantage in rebounds and a 24-6 advantage in fast-break points.

The Suns, looking to bounce back from Wednesday's 112-108 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, got a pair of 3-pointers from Green during a 13-2 run that gave them a 26-19 lead with 1:29 to play in the first quarter.

The led 51-45 but then came up empty on their final nine possessions of the second quarter, going 0 for 11 from the field with two missed free throws and a turnover as the Blazers outscored them 9-0 in the closing 3:17 of the half to take a 54-51 halftime lead.

Aldridge, held to four first-half points, made 5 of 8 shots from the field and two free throws, giving him 12 third-quarter points as the Blazers carried an 80-79 lead into the fourth.

The Blazers, coming off Tuesday's 124-112 road win over the Los Angeles Lakers, got 15 points from Damian Lillard and shot 43 percent (35 of 81) to the Suns' 40 percent (39 of 97). Both teams also made 6 of 21 shots from 3-point range.

Notes: The Suns went into Friday's gave averaging an NBA-best 18.6 fast-break points and had scored 20 or more fast-break points in 36 games this season. . The last time the Blazers won 50 games was during the 2009-10 season, when they lost in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs. . Lopez was originally drafted by the Suns in the first round (15th pick overall) of the 2008 NBA draft and played four seasons with Phoenix from 2008-12, averaging 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 242 games.

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