Portland is doing all the right things down the stretch to make sure they're in the playoffs. They took down Phoenix 130-117 in an offensive shootout. It was nearly over in the first quarter when the Trail Blazers jumped to a 37-21 lead after the first quarter. The Suns were able to cut that deficit to 10 points at halftime and got within five points early in the fourth quarter, but quickly fizzled when their opponent went on a 13-0 run to seal the deal. Portland is now 2.5 games ahead of Denver in the crucial eighth seed spot.

Trail Blazers continue to be red-hot

There's only one team that's been hotter than Portland's 9-1 record in their last 10 games -- Golden State, who has won 10 straight games.

It couldn't have come at a better time as it's eliminating many weaker Western Conference hopefuls. They still have six games remaining on their schedule and just a few more wins would lock it in, especially if the Nuggets keep losing -- they're currently on a three-game skid.

Point guard Damian Lillard (26.8 ppg, 5.9 apg) struggled from the field overall, but he was able to hit 4-of-11 3-pointers and made all 13 free throws to finish with 31 points. Shooting guard C.J. McCollum (23.3 ppg, 3.6 apg) complimented that performance with 29 points and a positive passing ratio of seven assists to two turnovers. The Blazers were a stunning +22 with him on the court.

Suns fall in 11th straight loss

Shooting guard Devin Booker (21.9 ppg) continues to be one of the only reasons to keep watching Phoenix at this point in the season.

He electrified with 31 points but did struggle with an even passing ratio of seven assists and turnovers. In better news, he had over 30 points for the third time in the past four games.

Booker is still looking toward the future in a bright way. He completed the Suns' young players after the game: "It's not many times that rookies get this many minutes or get the start, so us as a young group have to come together and play like we're trying to do something here." One of those younger players, TJ Warren (14.3 ppg, 5 rpg) stepped up with 25 points on a stunning 10-for-17 from the field.

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