Posted December 14, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Portland Trail Blazers
San Antonio Spurs
Rookie guard Damian Lillard had a career-high 29 points and the Portland Trail Blazers handed the San Antonio Spurs their second straight loss with a 98-90 victory Thursday night.
The Spurs, who have lost only six games this season, trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half but Manu Ginobili's layup cut the deficit to 89-85. J.J. Hickson answered for the Blazers with a running hook that made it 91-85 with 2:36 left.
Danny Green hit a 3-pointer to pull the Spurs closer again, but Portland clung to the lead and Nicolas Batum - who has been bothered by a sore back - made a 3 that gave Portland a 96-90 advantage with 1:08 left. Batum hit two free throws with 8 seconds to go for the final margin.
It was Lillard's 13th game this season with 20 or more points. LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 points for the Blazers and Hickson finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Tony Parker had 21 points for the Spurs, who were coming off a 99-96 loss at Utah on Wednesday night that snapped a five-game winning streak.
The Blazers were coming off a 92-74 victory over Toronto on Monday during which Portland set an NBA record by going 0 for 20 from 3-point range.
The Blazers were without starter Wesley Matthews for the second straight game. Matthews strained his left hip in the fourth quarter of a loss last Saturday to the Kings. The injury put him on the bench in street clothes for the first time in his four-year NBA career. He had played in 250 straight games, second-most among active players behind Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook.
Matthews was replaced by Victor Claver against the Spurs. Batum also missed the victory over the Raptors, but he started on Thursday night.
Luke Babbitt made a 3-pointer to put Portland in front 32-25. But former Trail Blazer Patty Mills hit a 23-foot jumper to tie it 32-all, and Green added a fast-break layup to give San Antonio the lead. It didn't last long, however, and Portland reclaimed the lead with Will Barton's dunk and another 3 by Babbitt.
Lillard made a long jumper to end the first half with the Blazers up 49-45.
His pull-up jumper made it 61-57 midway through a tight third quarter. Already-hurting Portland got a scare a short time later when Aldridge fell hard to the court and took a few moments to get up.
Lillard and Babbitt each hit long jumpers and Sasha Pavlovic added a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 72-61. Lillard had 23 points in the third quarter alone.
Parker's layup and jumper pulled the Spurs to 85-81 with 5:16 left.
San Antonio is 4-2 on the back end of back-to-back games. The other loss came against the Miami Heat on Nov. 29, notable because coach Gregg Popovich did not play starters Tim Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Green. The Spurs were subsequently fined by the NBA.
NOTES: The Blazers held a moment of silence before the game for the victims of the shooting Tuesday night at Clackamas Town Center in suburban Portland. Two people were killed and another was wounded by a masked gunman who fatally shot himself. ... The Spurs beat the Blazers 112-109 on Nov. 10 to snap a seven-game losing streak at the Rose Garden. San Antonio rallied for the win after trailing by 14 points in the fourth quarter.
BEST OF MAXIM
Trail Blazers rookie Damian Lillard says he saw Portland's victory over San Antonio coming, and not just during the course of the game.
''I think this whole week we've been locked in as a team. It had that feel,'' Lillard said. ''Guys were excited to play.''
Lillard scored a career-high 29 points in Portland's 98-90 win over the Spurs...
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Rookie point guard Damian Lillard outdueled All-Star Tony Parker, and the Portland Trail Blazers held off a late San Antonio Spurs surge to win 98-90 Thursday night at the Rose Garden. Lillard collected season highs in points (29) and rebounds (seven), and he had six assists. The 6-foot-3 Weber State product shot 11-for-22 from the field and 5-for-5 from the...
OLD MAN HOPS
To be honest, it's been awhile since we've posted a Tim Duncan dunk on this fair website but you need to check out this dunk he had during Thursday night's game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Watch as the big fundamental throws it down on Trail Blazer forward Nicolas Batum:
SOME NEVER LEARN
Former first-round draft pick Shawne Williams was arrested on drug charges earlier this week for the third time in five years.
The San Antonio Spurs have always been thought of as that grind-it-out team. That team that methodically breaks down defenses with its passing and low post play. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have long been able to slither their way through defenses and Duncan was just a point guard in a post's body with the way he could break down defenses with his post moves and the pass. ...
Sam Bowie resents the fact that he is being accused of lying to the Portland Trail Blazers about the extent of his knee injury. Earlier this week, word surfaced that Bowie admitted in a documentary — which will air later this month on ESPNU — that he told doctors he didn’t feel anything when they tested his knee. However, the No. 2 overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft said it...
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has always joked around saying Tim Duncan accuses him of holding his game back for his entire career. In other words, TD can do more than simply play the post but Pop won't unleash him.
We have seen Duncan show off some three-point range (ask the Suns) and in last night's game versus Portland, he showed he can handle the ball...
From the Adirondack Trail Blazers
Matt Leahy, the 2012 Adirondack Trail Blazers pitching coach has accepted the position of head coach for the Taos Blizzard of the Pecos League. The Pecos League teams are located in New Mexico, Texas and Colorado. Leahy did a phenomenal job with Adirondack and was rewarded for a job well done. The Trail Blazers organization and fans will miss...
The matchup of tonight's game will be between Tony Parker and Damian Lillard when the San Antonio Spurs visit the Portland Trailblzazers.
Parker is coming off a heartbreaking loss against the Utah Jazz last night while Lillard is hoping to be healthy after tweaking his right ankle on Monday night. Lillard is averaging 18.4ppg and shooting 42% from the field while Parker is...
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard went hard last night and dropped 29 points in their 98-90 victory over the Spurs. Old man Tim Duncan had the highlight of the night though. Early in the game Tony Parker found Duncan on a classic pick and roll and Duncan finished with a huge dunk over Nicolas Batum. Check out the jam below.
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The Portland Trail Blazers are in a much less enviable position than the San Antonio Spurs, though they played to the Southwest Division leaders' level in a tough loss last month.
Both teams may look different this time around.
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The San Antonio Spurs may have lost last night to the Blazers but Tim Duncan sure left an impression on Nicolas Batum.
During the first quarter of last night's game, Tony Parker found Duncan off a pick-and-roll and Batum was just at the wrong place, at the wrong time.
Check out TD putting Batum on a poster. Hopefully Batum learned a valuable lesson... never get in TD...