The Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge's 26 points and 13 rebounds and Damian Lillard's 21 points and 8 assists. Oh, and Wesley Matthews, who had two huge game-clinching three-pointers, and finished with 24 points on 6-7 from downtown.
First Half: San Antonio came out on fire, like a lot of Blazer opponents. They shot 70% early and easily pulled ahead. However, Portland fought back, forcing the ball inside instead of firing from deep. It was effective, as they kept the game tied at the end of the first quarter. They kept up the inside pressure in a chippy second quarter, pulled ahead of San Antonio and maintaining a slight advantage for most of the half. Each time the Spurs got close, Portland had an answer. And San Antonio's hot shooting was a distant memory. Only a Boris Diaw floater at the buzzer kept the Spurs within 5.
Portland 54, San Antonio 49
YOU WANT A FOUL? YOU WANT A FOUL? FOULS FOR EVERYONE! The Refs are so giving tonight.
Third Quarter: The Blazers quickly pulled ahead by 8 as the Spurs continued to miss, and when Matthews flew by the Spurs team for a fast-break layup, the lead reached 10 and the Spurs called timeout. And Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich let the refs know his displeasure during the timeout. Repeatedly. So much, in fact, that he was tossed from the game during the break:
As expected, the Spurs made a run afterward, right as Portland's shots stopped falling. A related factor, San Antonio was called for their first foul with 2:38 left in the quarter... Portland was long since in the penalty. And this was a chippy game. As the Blazers brought in the bench, Manu Ginobili closed the lead to 3 points, then got CJ McCollum to commit a foul on a three-pointer, using free throws to cut the lead to 2. Another Ginobili three-pointer cut the lead to one. Then, as the quarter rolled down, Ginobili tossed up a layup that sat on the rim as the buzzer sounded... and fell in the hoop, completing his 20 point quarter to give San Antonio the lead.
San Antonio 78, Portland 77
We've got them right where we want them.
by Timmay! on Jan 17, 2014 | 7:13 PM [I earned this quote, dang it!]
Fourth Quarter: San Antonio jumped ahead by four, as Portland couldn't hit a shot, and were called for foul after foul after foul. At one point, the referee even visibly said "my bad" on camera after calling a foul on Portland. After that, they called another foul on Portland. They were immediately in the penalty. The Spurs led by 5 after a Patty Mills flop led to free throws. But after all this, Aldridge hit a turnaround jumper to give the Blazers the lead at the halfway point. Mills pushed off and was called for a foul, the Spurs' fourth foul in the entire second half. In response, Aldridge beat his defender in the post for a layup. A Matthews three-pointer made it a 4 point lead. The teams trade buckets, and Portland called timeout, still up 4 with 2:52 left in the game.
Out of the timeout, Matthews got open for three. Swish. But at the end, Marco Belinelli got it right back. Batum responded with a drive and layup for a 6 point Blazer lead. Belinelli shot another three-pointer in response... but it missed! With 1:45 left, the Blazers went to Aldridge... who passed out for the around-the-horn sequence to Matthews for three... swish! The Blazers led by 9 with 1:20 left. Duncan hit a layup in response, as the Blazers slowed down the game. Aldridge missed, and Manu passed it to the Spurs... except it wasn't a Spur, it was a ref with a very similar-colored shirt! Turnover Spurs.
The Spurs fouled Mo Williams, who hit his free throws. And Portland completed its biggest win of the season.
Another game tomorrow night, in Dallas. NOTE: This game was changed from Comcast Sportsnet to KGW tonight. Plan accordingly! Meanwhile, stay tuned for analysis from Dave later.
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