Kaminsky has career night, scores 31 points in Suns' victory

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PHOENIX (AP) — Frank Kaminsky scored a career-high 31 points, Chris Paul added 21 and the Phoenix Suns beat the Portland Trail Blazers 119-109 on Wednesday night for their sixth straight victory.

The 7-foot Kaminsky continued a stellar stretch of play, making up for the recent absence of injured starter Deandre Ayton. Kaminsky has at least 10 points in four of the past five games and was at his best Wednesday, making 12 of 18 shots and grabbing seven rebounds.

Kaminsky bested his previous career high of 27 points with a very Kaminsky-esque move, faking out Portland's Norman Powell with an up and under post move that he finished with a smooth finger roll. The big man also grabbed an offensive rebound with about 2:25 left and fired to Mikal Bridges in the corner, who hit a 3-pointer that gave the Suns an insurmountable 10-point lead.

The Suns improved to 7-3. They led the entire second half, though Portland cut the lead to six midway through the fourth quarter. Phoenix's Jae Crowder made a couple of 3-pointers in the fourth that helped keep the Trail Blazers from getting too close.

Damian Lillard led Portland with 28 points and gamely kept his team in it with some late baskets in the fourth quarter. But every time he'd score, the Suns had an answer. Powell scored 23 points for the Blazers. C.J. McCollum added 18.

The Blazers have lost five of their last seven.

The Suns pushed to a 60-47 lead by halftime. Kaminsky poured in 18 points before the break, shooting 6 of 11 from the field and 5 of 5 on free throws. Paul added 10 points.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: Backup guard Tony Snell was playing on his 30th birthday. He finished with no points and two rebounds in eight minutes. ... Larry Nance Jr. scored 13 points off the bench.

Suns: Ayton didn't play for a third straight game because of a right leg contusion. Coach Monty Williams said Ayton had been on the court some during practice but there was no immediate timetable for his return. ... G Landry Shamet missed the game with a right foot contusion. ... All five starters scored at least 10 points. JaVale McGee had 14 points and eight rebounds in just 16 minutes. Devin Booker and Crowder each added 12 points.

UP NEXT

Trail Blazers: At Houston on Friday night.

Suns: At Memphis on Friday night.

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

David Brandt, The Associated Press

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