The Blazers’ loss can be accredited to the slow start. Portland trailed 38-14 after the first quarter and was down by as much as 28 at one point. However, the deficit was cut in half by halftime thanks to rookie point guard Scoot Henderson, who scored a career-high 25 points.
“I thought he struggled early but one thing about Scoot is he’s going to keep grinding the whole time,” coach Chauncey Billups said postgame. “He struggled a little bit early with his decision making but I also thought his fire and his fight are the things that kind of helped us and change the game for us in the second quarter.”
Henderson had nine of his 25 points in the second quarter, Portland’s best frame of the evening. Billups knows exactly what it’s like to be a young point guard, and as a former top-3 pick himself, he’s aware of the trials and tribulations that go with giving a player like Henderson the keys to the offense.
“That’s kind of the gift and the curse with a young point guard right now is it took him a little bit to calm down but when he did he gave us everything we needed,” Billups said.
Henderson and the Blazers eye revenge tonight when the Spurs are back out on the floor in Portland. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT.