Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/14/12
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 Trail Blazers (10-12) handed the Spurs (18-6) their second loss in as many nights. San Antonio fell 99-96 to the Jazz at Utah on Wednesday. LaMarcus Aldridge contributed 22 points and six rebounds for the Blazers, who beat the Spurs for the eighth time in the teams' past nine meetings in Portland. Parker had 21 points and five assists to lead San Antonio. Portland led 63-61 late in the third quarter before reserves Luke Babbitt and Sasha Pavlovic each hit 3-pointers in a 9-0 run. The Blazers carried a 76-69 advantage into the final period. When Aldridge buried a short jumper with 10 minutes left, Portland led 83-71. The Spurs answered with 10-2 run to get within 85-81 with five minutes to play. Portland's J.J Hickson scored back-to-back baskets on a put-back and a hook shot to make it 91-85. San Antonio's Danny Green's hit a 3-pointer cut the margin to 91-88, but Lillard scored on a twisting layup to put Portland in front 93-88. Tim Duncan (16 points, six rebounds) scored on a post-up to bring the Spurs within 93-90 with 1:35 remaining. Nicolas Batum buried a 3-pointer to give the Blazers a 96-90 edge with 1:08 to play, then blocked a Parker layup at the other end, and the game was Portland's. NOTES: Lillard had 24 points, five rebounds and five assists through three quarters. ... Portland guard Wesley Matthews (hip) missed his second straight game after having played in 250 straight contests to begin his NBA career. ... San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard (knee) and guard Stephen Jackson (broken finger) did not play. Leonard is game-to-game, and Jackson is expected to be out another 10 days or so.... The Spurs played for the fifth time in seven nights. Portland was the final stop on a four-game road trip. ... During his pregame meeting with the media, the first question asked of Gregg Popovich was, "Are you using your regular lineup tonight?" The San Antonio coach responded, with a grin, "I wonder why he'd ask a question like that?" The Spurs were fined $250,000 after Popovich sat four of his top players -- including Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili -- in a 105-100 loss at Miami on Nov. 29. Last season, the veteran coach did likewise in a 137-97 loss at Portland. Duncan, Parker and Ginobili were all ready to go Thursday, Popovich said. ... First-year Blazers coach Terry Stotts said consistency and depth are keys to the Spurs' perennial success. "They do a lot of the same things they've always done," Stotts said. "Over time, they've evolved into more of an offensive than a defensive team, but they play the same way every night. They compete, they play unselfishly, they're opportunistic. Sometimes the shots may not fall, but they play the same way every night. Pop has done a great job of developing the bench. They play well no matter the circumstances."
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