Wesley Matthews had 31 points, Nicolas Batum added 15 points, 9 assists, and 4 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers won the season series over the San Antonio Spurs with a 111-95 win Wednesday night at Moda Center.
The first quarter was defined by two things: brutal defense and Batum. Batum did everything and then some in the period, scoring ten points, grabbing three rebounds, dishing two assists, grabbing two steals which led to fast break points, and even swatted away a drive to the hoop by Marco Belinelli. Portland as a team shot 59% in the period as they rocketed out to a 16 point advantage. The other factor was a defensive presence that the crafty Spurs seemingly could not crack. San Antonio starters not named Tim Duncan shot 0-for-7 in the period, and other than Duncan, the Spurs shot 3-of-15 in total. With everything going their way, Portland led by 16 after one.
Portland got to watch its lead swell to 19 in the second quarter, only for it to vanish entirely. While the Blazers continued to hit many of their shots, San Antonio simply hit all of theirs. The Spurs shot 65% in the quarter, including four 3s, and forced a 48-48 tie. Damian Lillard countered with a three of his own to give Portland the lead back, but turnovers continued to give the Blazers problems, and they led by just one at halftime. Lillard led all Blazers in the second quarter with five points.
The Blazers repeated their first quarter performance in the third period, with less Batum and more scoring from just about everyone. Lillard led everyone in the quarter with eight, but multiple players had at least three. San Antonio remaining pesky, hanging around just out of reach, but Portland secured a ten point advantage going into the final period.
The visitors started the fourth quarter with back-to-back threes from Danny Green and Patty Mills, cutting the lead to four. When the Blazers needed someone to stop the bleeding, "The Iron Man" stepped in. Prior to that point, he had not hit a three-point shot since the second quarter versus Utah on February 20th. Matthews drained back-to-back threes of his own to re-extend the Portland advantage to twelve. With the Blazers stemming the tide, Chris Kaman went to work with solid effort in a four-point possession with strong offensive rebounding. San Antonio cut the lead back to single digits by getting to the free throw line, but a three by Lillard and a fast break layup by Matthews put the game out of reach. Matthews scored 16 in the final quarter.
Kaman led the bench with 11 points. Aaron Afflalo had 10 points in his second game with Portland. The Blazers had six players in double figures, with Matthews leading the team with a season-high 31 points. Alonzo Gee made his Portland debut with 1:20 remaining with the game out of reach.
The Trail Blazers win the season series, 3-1, and are 16-7 in the past 23 meetings against San Antonio, dating back to 2009. #PORvsSAS— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) February 26, 2015
The Trail Blazers improve to 15-0 at home this season when taking a lead into halftime. #PORvsSAS— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) February 26, 2015
Portland held its opponent below 100 points for the 36th time this season, most in the NBA. #PORvsSAS— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) February 26, 2015
Wesley Matthews scored more than half of Portland's fourth quarter points (16 of 30) in 7:24 on 5-6 FG (4-4 3-PT). #PORvsSAS— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) February 26, 2015
Wesley Matthews tallied his eighth career 30-point game and first since Nov. 23, 2012 vs. Minnesota. #PORvsSAS— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) February 26, 2015
...@aldridge_12 just walked through the locker room chanting "Wesley Matthews!" #Blazers— Amy Schwartz (@TheAmySchwartz) February 26, 2015
'@wessywes2, after his season-high 31 points vs. Spurs: "It was time to right the ship and get going in the direction we all intended."— kerry eggers (@kerryeggers) February 26, 2015
'@nicolas88batum on @wessywes2: "He was kind of mad. You know how he gets when he's mad. I knew he was going to be ready tonight."— kerry eggers (@kerryeggers) February 26, 2015
Terry Stotts, after #Blazers shots .506 vs. Spurs: "We've been kind of waiting to break out. It was good to have a breakout night."— kerry eggers (@kerryeggers) February 26, 2015
VIDEO: Nicolas Batum starts the fast break with a steal and finishes with a one-handed dunk.
VIDEO: Wesley Matthews catches the long outlet pass from Nicolas Batum and finishes with a tough layup while being fouled.