|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • Blazers lose Aldridge, fall to Spurs

  • SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs continued rolling against the elite teams they struggled against early in the season, using a balanced attack to beat the Portland Trail Blazers for their eighth straight victory.
    • email print
      Comment
  • SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs continued rolling against the elite teams they struggled against early in the season, using a balanced attack to beat the Portland Trail Blazers for their eighth straight victory.
    Patty Mills scored 15 points, Tim Duncan had 10 points and 11 rebounds in limited minutes, and San Antonio trailed for only 11 seconds late in the first quarter of a 103-90 victory over Portland on Wednesday night.
    Since the All-Star break, the Spurs (48-16) have beaten the Trail Blazers twice and also defeated the Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago and Miami. They were 1-11 in the season's first half against the East's top two teams and remaining top five in the West.
    "We're getting a rhythm," San Antonio point guard Tony Parker said. "You don't want to peak too early, but we're playing good basketball. Hopefully we can keep it going and stay healthy. The most important, like everybody knows, is the playoffs."
    Damian Lillard had 23 points for Portland (42-23), which lost LaMarcus Aldridge to a bruised back early in the second half.
    Aldridge's status is unknown after X-rays on his back were negative. He was taken to the locker room and X-ray room in a wheelchair.
    San Antonio's bench outscored Portland's 46-23, enabling coach Gregg Popovich to limit Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili to less than 30 minutes.
    The Spurs' Big 3 tied Magic Johnson, Michael Cooper and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers for second all-time as a trio in total victories (490) and games played (663) as a trio.
    "It's remarkable," Ginobili said. "We were not thinking about that in the game and I guess we're going to win a few more. But even if you didn't tell me that stat, we know we're in a very unique position and situation. Having played together for 12 seasons with the same coach; it doesn't happen very often in the league and with that stat you can tell. Very proud of what we've accomplished; what we're accomplishing."
    The trio achieved the feat using the same formula San Antonio has employed this season — aggressive defense and ball movement.
    Danny Green added 14 points for the Spurs, Ginobili scored 13, Kawhi Leonard had 12, and Tiago Splitter had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
    San Antonio had 21 assists and only 12 turnovers.
    The Spurs held the Trail Blazers to 38.6 shooting and was 4 for 21 on 3s.
    "I thought defense was good," Popovich said. "Obviously they missed LaMarcus in the second half. So that was a really tough break for them. I hope he's going to come back quickly. He's a hell of player and nobody wants to see that."
    Portland opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run after trailing by as many as 17 in the first half, but lost Aldridge 43 seconds into the quarter.
    Aldridge drove the lane and rose for a running, 6-foot jumper, but tumbled backward after having his right knee hit Aron Baynes' side. Unable to brace himself, Aldridge took the brunt of the fall on his left hip. He remained on the court for 3 minutes, grabbing his lower back before being helped off the court by teammates.
    "When a guy takes a tough fall like that, when you're airborne, you just don't know what can happen when you land," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "The longer he stayed down, you just don't know."
    With Aldridge unable to continue, Thomas Robinson replaced him and made the ensuing free throw.
    Aldridge finished with 14 points and four rebounds in 21 minutes.
    With Aldridge out, fellow All-Star Lillard took over in the third. The speedy point guard scored 10 points, hitting a pair of 3s and throwing down a hard dunk while shooting 4 for 9 in the quarter. His second 3 pulled Portland within 61-55 with 5:45 left in third, but the Trail Blazers got no closer.
    "We played small," Stotts said. "There were a couple of points in the half that I thought we were climbing back in, but San Antonio, in beginning of the fourth, hits two 3s right when we're in the thick of it. It was tough to get over the hump."
    San Antonio was 3 for 4 on 3s to open the fourth quarter for a 79-64 lead and cruised to victory.
    Nets 96, Heat 95
    At Miami, Paul Pierce scored 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter, Mirza Teletovic scored 17 off the bench and the Brooklyn Nets beat Miami for the third time in as many tries this season.
    Shaun Livingston scored 13 points, Andray Blatche added 11 and Deron Williams had eight assists for the Nets, who've won seven of their past eight games and are 23-9 since Jan. 1.
    Clippers 111, Warriors 98
    At Los Angeles, Blake Griffin had 30 points and 15 rebounds, Danny Granger added 18 points off the bench, and Los Angeles surged past Golden State for its ninth straight victory.
    Chris Paul had 16 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds for the Clippers, who split their four-game season series against their Pacific Division rivals with an impressive finish to a tight game.
    Kings 115, 76ers 98
    At Philadelphia, Rudy Gay scored 27 points, Isaiah Thomas added 20 and Sacramento extended Philadelphia's losing streak to 18 games.
    Knicks 116, Celtics 92
    At Boston, Carmelo Anthony scored 19 of his 34 points in the first half as New York opened a 24-point lead and coasted past Boston for its fifth straight win.
    Tim Hardaway Jr. added 22 points, J.R. Smith 13 and Cole Aldrich had 12 with 10 rebounds in his first career start for the Knicks, who are making a charge for the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot.
    Cavaliers 110, Suns 101
    At Phoenix, Kyrie Irving scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and Cleveland spoiled Eric Bledsoe's return for Phoenix.
    Spencer Hawes added 19, 17 in the first quarter, and Luol Deng scored 18 as the Cavs snapped a four-game losing streak.
    Raptors 101, Pistons 87
    At Toronto, DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points, Amir Johnson had 20 against his former team and Toronto handed Detroit its 10th straight road defeat.
    Kyle Lowry added 19 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 13 rebounds for the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors, who won for the fourth time in five meetings with Detroit. Toronto has won 15 of 19 at home after losing eight of its first 12 home games this season.
    Grizzlies 90, Pelicans 88
    At New Orleans, Mike Conley hit a driving layup against Austin Rivers with 1.5 seconds remaining to complete Memphis' comeback victory over New Orleans.
    Conley's basket closed out a 9-0 Grizzlies run to end the game. Memphis trailed 88-81 with 3:22 remaining, but the undermanned Pelicans, playing without guards Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon, were held scoreless from that point.
    Mavericks 108, Jazz 101
    At Salt Lake City, Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points and moved into sole possession of the No. 12 spot on the NBA's career scoring list in Dallas' win over Utah.
    The big German made 12 of 14 from the field and all four his 3-point attempts to help the Mavs snap a three-game road skid.
    Bobcats 98, Wizards 85
    At Washington, Al Jefferson had 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Gerald Henderson went 6 for 9 in his return from a calf injury to lead Charlotte over Washington.
    Henderson finished with 13 points, and Kemba Walker's 16 points included four consecutive free throws during a late fourth-quarter run for the Bobcats.
    Nuggets 120, Magic 112
    At Orlando, Fla., Kenneth Faried scored 26 points and Wilson Chandler added 21 points and 10 rebounds to rally Denver past Orlando.
    JJ Hickson had 20 points and nine rebounds, and Ty Lawson added 17 points and 12 assists for the Nuggets, who ended a two-game losing streak.
    Arron Afflalo led Orlando with 24 points. Nikola Vucevic added 20, but had only four points in the second half. Jameer Nelson scored 19 points and had nine assists in Orlando's fifth loss in six games.
Reader Reaction

      calendar