Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 11/11/12
After trailing by as much as 14 points and looking like they couldn’t hold onto the basketball even if the the ball and their hands were attached with Velcro, the San Antonio Spurs were able to pull out a fourth quarter 112-109 victory in Portland against the Trail Blazers on Saturday. Turnovers were once again the weakness of the Spurs as they followed up a 19-turnover night in Sacramento with a 21-turnover night against the Blazers. After the third quarter, the Spurs were trailing like they had been for much of the game, but then Gary Neal exploded for 15 points in the fourth quarter to score a career-high 27 points and guide the Spurs to the thrilling victory. Here’s the rundown. The 4-Quarter Slim Down First quarter: After allowing the Blazers to build a 10-point lead with 2:25 remaining due to more turnovers (7) and missed assignments on defense, Manu Ginobili (17 points), Stephen Jackson (13 points), and Neal helped the Spurs close the first quarter with a 12-0 run to tie the game after one, 26-26. Second quarter: The turnover woes continued once again in the second quarter as the Spurs turned the ball over seven more times. By halftime, they’d totaled 14 turnovers. The Blazers defense held the Spurs to just 17 points in the second quarter, though both teams were shooting 50% or better at half. Third quarter: It was an up-and-down third quarter for the Spurs in the third as the Blazers would build a double-digit lead, and then the Spurs would get the game back within single digits. With four seconds remaining, Neal almost turned the ball over but passed it to Ginobili who sunk a floater at the buzzer to cut the Blazers’ lead to 79-73 after three quarters of play. The Spurs did a much better job of controlling the ball as they only turned the ball over four times in the quarter. Fourth quarter: The fourth quarter was an offensive onslaught for the Spurs as they opened the fourth quarter with a 14-0 run, and they were able to build an eight point lead. Neal went off in the fourth scoring 15 of the Spurs’ 39 points in the quarter, but the Blazers also bounced back by scoring 30 points in the fourth behind a surge from Nicolas Batum (33 points). Down the stretch though, the Spurs were able to put the game away with free throws from Ginobili and Jackson. By the time the buzzer rang, the Spurs had finished the game shooting 57% in a road game. Out of the starting five: Tim Duncan (22 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks) was one of the only bright spots out of the starting lineup in the first half as Duncan had scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds. In the second half though, Kawhi Leonard (10 points) and Danny Green (10 points) both helped Duncan in the scoring front, more importantly Green at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Duncan was a big part of the Spurs closing the game out in the fourth quarter as he made smart plays that allowed the team to keep separation from Portland. Off the bench: Jackson, Neal, and Ginobili were the three most productive players off the bench in the first half as they had a combined 21 points, which helped with the scoring load the starters were missing. By the end of three, Jackson, Neal, and Ginobili all had scored over 10 points in the game. In the fourth, all three were instrumental in helping the Spurs close the game out. The bench as a whole outscored the Blazers 63-4 in the game. Player of the game: Gary Neal – 27 points. Not only did Neal score a career high of 27 points, but most of his shots didn’t come from his normal 3-point range as he only made 2-of-3 three pointers. Neal shot 11-of-16 from the floor with multiple jump shots and even layups from drives to the basket. Aside from scoring a variety of points, Neal also grabbed seven rebounds in the game.   The Spurs played the game without Tony Parker who was suffering from the stomach flu and DeJuan Blair (knee contusion). Patty Mills was awarded the starting point guard duty on Saturday where he finished with seven points. With the victory, the Spurs stay atop the Western Conference with a 6-1 record. The Spurs will have two days off before traveling back down to California to face the new-look Los Angeles Lakers who may or may not have a new coach on Tuesday when the teams meet. 
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Bubba Watson's caddie owns heckler at PGA Championship

NFL denies sending Donald Trump letter about schedule

Michael Bennett calls out NFL stars for not speaking up on social matters

Nationals make astute move in acquiring Melancon

Son of former NFL player Antonio Armstrong charged with death of parents

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

U.S. Senator “appalled” by Bettman’s stance on concussions

Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms look a little treasonous

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Texans GM 'disappointed' in DeAndre Hopkins

Can Andre Johnson end his regression in Tennessee?

Favre opens up about painkiller addiction during career

Miami women’s basketball coach criticizes Texas A&M following slideshow

Twin Cities preparing for influx of sex trafficking during Super Bowl LII

WATCH: Bautista bat flip will be available as NHL 17 celebration

Former USMNT, current MLS forward Davies battled cancer, in remission

The definitive guide to U.S. Men's Basketball at Rio 2016

Tony Romo training camp picture leads to fat jokes, concern

Matt Cullen’s family eats cereal out of the Stanley Cup

Texas A&M suspends coaches for sexist slideshow

10 most dangerous college football defenders in 2016

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker