The Phoenix Suns made sure the Portland Trail Blazers had no more comeback magic on Friday night.
Tom Chambers scored 15 of his 24 points as the Suns built a 30-point lead in the first half and went on to beat the Trail Blazers 123-89, cutting their lead to 2-1 in the Western Conference finals.Phoenix, which blew a 22-point lead in Game 2 at Portland on Wednesday night, plays host to the Trail Blazers in Game 4 of the best-of-7 series Sunday.
The Suns rode to a first-quarter advantage of 40-18, the most opening-period points ever allowed by Portland in a playoff game. Phoenix built 61-31 and 70-40 leads in the second period en route to a 71-43 halftime margin.
The Trail Blazers got no closer than 25 in the second half. The Suns' largest lead was 103-57 with 1:06 left in the third quarter, putting Portland in jeopardy of losing by the largest margin ever in an NBA playoff game.
Minneapolis beat St. Louis 133-75 in 1956, but the Trail Blazers' reserves used an 18-0 run in the fourth period to make the final score more respectable.
It was Portland's worst playoff loss ever and the second-biggest postseason victory for Phoenix.
Chambers was 11-for-13 from the field and Jeff Hornacek scored 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting. Kevin Johnson also had 17 points for the Suns, and Jerome Kersey led the Trail Blazers with 16.
Phoenix made 78 percent of its shots in the opening period - 18 of 23.
Portland, which shot only 33 percent from the field in the first period (nine of 27), scored the game's first basket and never led again.
The Suns used a 10-0 run for a 16-4 lead with 8:20 remaining in the first quarter. Chambers had six of his 10 points in the period during the final three minutes.
Eddie Johnson's hook and two free throws capped a 10-0 spurt for a 50-22 Phoenix lead 4:11 into the second period.
The Suns led by 30 points twice - 61-31 on Chambers' baseline jumper 4:26 before halftime and 70-40 on Kurt Rambis' jumper with 42 seconds left.
Terry Porter, held to five first-half points, hit a 3-point goal with 35 seconds remaining to make it 71-43 at intermission.
The Suns shot 77 percent from the field in the first half (30 of 39) to Portland's 40 percent (20 of 50).
Portland's first-period yield of 40 points exceeded the 39 scored by the Los Angeles Lakers on May 3, 1983 and matched by the Lakers on April 30, 1985.
The Trail Blazers' previous worst playoff loss was 125-101 against the Lakers on April 27, 1985.
Portland finished with a 36 percent field goal percentage (37 of 102), one percentage point more than another all-time playoff low set against Philadelphia in 1977.
Phoenix wound up making 61 percent of its field goals (50 of 82) to tie its all-time playoff best set against the Lakers on May 23, 1984.
The Suns just missed their biggest margin of victory in a playoff game - 36 points - 135-99 over Golden State here on May 13, 1989.