Parker, Green pace Spurs past Trail Blazers
SAN ANTONIO -- Backcourt mates Tony Parker and Danny Green scored 18 points apiece and the San Antonio Spurs had five players in double figures as they roared from behind and beat the Portland Trail Blazers, 110-94, on Friday at the AT&T Center.
Winners of four in a row, the Spurs trailed by five points at halftime but led by seven after three quarters. San Antonio was at its best early in the fourth in blowing past the reeling Trail Blazers.
It was the eighth time this season, and the fourth game in a row, that San Antonio (27-6) had at least a 20-point lead at some point in the contest. The Spurs have led by at least 15 points during a game 18 times this year.
Both teams played without their top scorers as the Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard was nursing an ankle injury and the Spurs' Kawhi Leonard was dealing with gastroenteritis.
Jonathon Simmons led San Antonio with 19 points, Manu Ginobili had 14 and Pau Gasol added 10 points for the Spurs. LaMarcus Aldridge was held to eight points and shot just three field goals (making two) in 30 minutes of action.
C.J. McCollum led the Trail Blazers with 29 points and Maurice Harkless and Allen Crabbe added 12 and 11 points, respectively, for Portland. The Trail Blazers (14-21) have lost seven of their past eight games.
The Spurs' sloppiness in the first quarter combined with Portland's hot outside shooting allowed the Trail Blazers to forge a 32-22 lead at the end of 12 minutes of play. San Antonio's nine turnovers in the period led to 10 points for Portland while the Trail Blazers shot 65 percent from the floor, led by Harkless' and Sabazz Napier's eight points each, with every basket from the perimeter.
Portland cooled off some in the second quarter as the Spurs were better on the defensive end and took better care of the ball. A 3-pointer by Green and two free throws by Gasol cut the Trail Blazers' lead to 50-47, but another turnover by San Antonio opened the floor for a layup by McCollum that pushed Portland's advantage to 52-47 at halftime.
McCollum led all scorers with 15 points in the first half while Harkless added 10 for the Trail Blazers. Green paced the Spurs with nine points but Aldridge, who had scored 60 points in his past two games, had just two shots from the field and only two points.
San Antonio had 14 turnovers in the first half, resulting in 14 Portland points.
The Spurs tied the game at 54 early in the third quarter on a jumper by Parker but an 8-3 run to rebuild its five-point lead at 62-57. But San Antonio kept hacking away, eventually taking its first lead since the game's opening minutes on ringing 3-pointer by Ginobili and pushing it to 74-67 on a 3-pointer by Simmons and two free throws by Ginobili.
Two jumpers by Mills and a turnaround one-hander by David Lee staked the Spurs to an 80-73 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The Spurs took any suspense out of the game by scoring 13 of the first 17 points in the final quarter, pushing their advantage to 93-76 with 8:46 to play.
NOTES: The Spurs scratched F Kawhi Leonard from the game with gastroenteritis. It's the second straight game Leonard has missed because of the illness. ... San Antonio F LaMarcus Aldridge played his first nine NBA seasons with Portland (2006-2015), averaging 19.4 points and 8.4 rebounds in 648 games (607 starts). ... Injured Trail Blazers G Damian Lillard has made 910 3-pointers in his NBA career, putting him ahead of Stephen Curry for the second-most threes by a player in his first five seasons in NBA history (Curry-905). ... The Spurs and Trail Blazers played in Portland a week ago with San Antonio handing the Trail Blazers a 110-90 defeat. ... San Antonio has won four consecutive games against Portland, its largest winning streak against the Trail Blazers since winning a franchise-best 12 straight games from April 12, 2005 to April 6, 2008.