The Blazers were led by Damian Lillard (31 points, 6 assists), Wesley Matthews (18 points, 3 assists, 3 steals), Robin Lopez (11 points, 14 rebounds), and Mo Williams (19 points). Dorell Wright, who started at Power Forward due to LaMarcus Aldridge's groin injury, scored 10 with 5 rebounds.
First Quarter: You know it's a bad sign when, before tip-off, both teams have that "let's get this game over with" look on their faces. And it showed, as neither team had any cohesion at the offensive end, leading to a lot of ugly, low-percentage shots. Unsurprisingly, a low percentage of them went in, for both teams. This quarter was best left forgotten.
Portland 24, San Antonio 18
After Thomas Robinson airballed a three-pointer:
WHY TROB WHY -- SNewtn
ROBINSON FOR 3? WTH? WHYYYYYYYYYY -- thankyouforblaze
Wow. Worst three of the season.-- Timmay!
Good play -- RipCityLifer!
Don't do that again, TRob -- SlickRick1987
This is why you can't have nice things, Throb -- colbymac
Second Quarter: The Spurs made adjustments, including leaking out on the break when the Blazers missed shots. They'd already doubled their score at the halfway point of the quarter. With makeshift lineups, the Blazers stayed a few points ahead, until their lack of defense caught up with them. The Blazers eventually gave up 33 points to a depleted Spurs roster, thanks to multiple open three pointers and transition buckets. The good news? They scored 28 as well, so they stayed ahead. Barely.
Portland 52, San Antonio 51
Third Quarter: Marco Belinelli just won the three-point contest during All-Star Weekend. So the Blazers chose to leave him open from three repeatedly, and he burned them again to give the Spurs the lead early in the third. Manu Ginobili led the Spurs to a 9 point lead, as the Blazers took poor shots and made dumb mistakes. Finally, Portland made a run, closing to within one on a variety of nice finishes at the hoop. Mo Williams hit two free throws to finally tie the game, and followed it up with a jumper and a layup for the lead. Ginobili did all the dirty work to keep San Antonio close, though.
Portland 81, San Antonio 79
Fourth Quarter: The Spurs picked up their defense, while quickly scoring 8 straight points to regain a 6 point lead. Suddenly the Blazers couldn't put the ball in the hole, going 0-10 for the first 5:30, and were down 10 points. Portland's porous defense couldn't stop former Blazer Patty Mills, who effortlessly hit open shots and layups. Finally, the Blazers made their run with 4 minutes left, as Nic Batum hit his first shot of the game, and Lillard closed the gap to 4 with 2:45 left. Out of the timeout, another Lillard cut the Spurs' lead to 2, and Matthews stole the ball from Danny Green for a dunk to tie the game with 1:45 left. However, Belinelli nailed a three-pointer in response, and the Spurs scored again to it a 5 point lead again with 57 seconds left. Portland couldn't pull out another miracle from there, as the Spurs blocked Wes, but it was called a jump ball and Portland lost possession. Lopez made a terrible rookie mistake in the back-court to hand the ball to the Spurs and cost the Blazers a chance to tie, so their late push came up short. It was yet another rough ending for the Blazers and their fans, in the roughest stretch of the season.
The Blazers get a day of rest before Utah is in town Friday night.
In the meantime, stay tuned for more analysis from Dave, and Ben's Media Row Report. And tomorrow we'll have a live thread for trade deadline rumors!
Gameday Thread Comments of the Night:
Thanks to everyone who participated in tonight's Gameday Thread! As always, here are the most popular comments, based on the number of Rec's from their fellow fans: