After the loss of Marcus Camby, the Portland Trail Blazers struggled to keep up with the San Antonio Spurs, who pulled away in the fourth to win by 16. Camby, who left the game with an ankle injury, is currently listed as day-to day.
LaMarcus Aldridge had a good scoring night with 29 points, but was limited by foul trouble. Gerald Wallace added a double-double (12 and 12), and Wesley Matthews and Raymond Felton scored in double figures. However, bench scoring was the key to the game, as the San Antonio bench lit up the Blazers.
The "Good Blazers" showed up in the first. Wallace and Felton swiped balls around the perimeter, and what they didn't finish, Aldridge (with 13 points) cleaned up. However, the Blazers turned the ball over 6 times, and the Spurs' hot shooting kept them within 4. Ominous sign.
The second quarter wasn't so kind to Portland. Nic Batum picked up three quick fouls and a goaltend. After a 10-0 Spurs run, the Blazers were suddenly behind by 4. Everything the Spurs shot fell in the hoop, as they shot 73%. Then it somehow worsened. Marcus Camby drove to the hoop, and he landed poorly on his ankle and fell to the ground in pain. The Blazers immediately fell behind by 8, but Matthews heated up to keep them within 3 at halftime.
Both teams start slow in the third, with unforced turnovers and missed shots. A quick Blazer 10-2 run pushed them back to a 5 point lead. However, when Aldridge picked up his fourth foul, the Spurs took advantage, riding Tiago Splitter to a 5 point lead. But Batum and Crawford fight back to tie it by the third quarter buzzer.
But San Antonio's secret weapon arrived in the fourth quarter: Their bench. Within minutes, the Spurs scored 13 consecutive points, and the Blazers looked confused on offense, and deflated overall. They pulled together the energy for one more run, but the Tony Parker helped the Spurs easily fend them off.
Read the box score here, then stay tuned for Dave's recap and any updates on Marcus. The Blazers are right back on the court tomorrow, a 5pm game against Houston. -- Tim