The Rundown: Blazers escape Suns, Morant goes for 49

Published October 22, 2022, 2:40 PMJon Carlos Rodriguez

Damian Lillard and the Blazers stunned the Suns at home, while Ja Morant exploded for 49 points against the Rockets.



Pelicans 124, Hornets 112

Spurs 137, Pacers 134

Wizards 102, Bulls 100

Hawks 108, Magic 98

Nets 109, Raptors 105

Celtics 111, Heat 104

Knicks 130, Pistons 106

Grizzlies 129, Rockets 122

Jazz 132, Wolves 126

Nuggets 128, Warriors 123

Trailblazers 113, Suns 111

What went down 

The Damian Lillard versus Devin Booker scoring battle was great for about an hour, then Anfernee Simons hijacked the show. 

With the game tied at 111, Simons drove hard to the line for a running hook with seven seconds left. Deandre Ayton had a chance to tie the game with two free throws with only 1.2 seconds left but missed both. 

Lillard was in Ayton’s ear in those crucial moments and made sure the big man would overthink the big shots. 

"I only asked him, ‘Have you ever been in this situation before because it's not easy when you have to make the free throws,’” Lillard said after the game. 

Lillard finished with 41 points, outshining DBook’s 33. Jusuf Nurkic was also big for the Blazers with 20 points and 17 rebounds. 

The Blazers escaped with the win versus an elite Suns team, but the takeaway here is that Dame is back out there on his usual agenda of taking over games.

Big-time ballers

On any given night, any New Orleans Pelican has a shot at getting the Big-time Baller tag. Against the Charlotte Hornets, Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas both deserved it. BI dropped a 28-9-7 line while Valanciunas recorded another monster line with 30 points and 17 rebounds.

Ja Morant was in extreme Ja Morant mode versus the Houston Rockets. Look at this stat line:

  • 49 points

  • 4 rebounds

  • 8 assists

  • 2 blocks

  • 5 3s

Meanwhile, Nikola Jokic waited for just the second game of the season to make history with his 77th career triple-double. Jokic now has the second-most number of triple-doubles, behind Wilt Chamberlain.

What he said

The Brooklyn Nets got their first win of the season, with Kyrie Irving leading the way with 30 points. It wasn’t a particularly good shooting night—he missed 13 of his 24 attempts. But Irving found the silver lining:

"Sounds like Kobe numbers and Kyrie numbers right there. 11/24 for a good night."

Did you see that?

Bradley Beal was in his bag versus the Chicago Bulls, saving his best move for last:

It was a special night for Ja Morant, getting a win on his 49-point night. This freakish block made the performance even crazier: