San Antonio Spurs (22-10)
Portland Trail Blazers (16-15)
Portland, Ore. – LaMarcus Aldridge’s team-high 22 points and Pau Gasol’s team-high 17 rebounds proved to be enough as San Antonio held its third-straight opponent under the 100-point plateau en route to its third-consecutive victory after a 93-91 thrilling win against the Trail Blazers Wednesday night inside the confines of the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.
· Spread before tip-off: POR -3.0
· Score: San Antonio Spurs 93, Portland Trail Blazers 91
· Records: Spurs (22-10) | Trail Blazers (16-15)
· Date: Wednesday, Dec. 20 | 9:00 p.m. PST tip-off
· Location: Moda Center | Portland, Oregon
· Attendance: 19,393
· Series: San Antonio Spurs lead the all-time series 97-85 (83-81 regular season, 14-6 playoffs)
The Spurs looked to be in control of the game for the entirety of the first half, but 26 third quarter points by the men in black and red made this a brand-new basketball game. Three lead changes over the last 5:23 of regulation made the excitement level for this game increase more and more. Pulling within one points twice during the last two minutes, the Trail Blazers managed to score just two points in the final 1:42 to lose by two at home.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
· In the win, the Spurs shot 51.3 percent (41-for-80) from the floor, compared to Portland’s 38-of-96 (39.6 percent) from the floor in the loss.
· San Antonio registered a 6-of-17 (35.3 percent) mark from three and went 5-of-6 (83.3 percent) from the charity stripe. The Trail Blazers, meanwhile, went 6-of-25 (24.0 percent) from beyond-the-arc and went 9-of-14 from the foul line (64.3 percent).
· Despite taking 16 shots less than Portland, San Antonio managed to out-rebound the Trail Blazers 53-38.
· Although Portland recorded more team steals and team assists than the Spurs, San Antonio registered nine team blocks, compared to just two from the Trail Blazers.
INSIDE THE FLOW:
· The first quarter saw seven total ties but the Spurs held on to a three-point lead after one after a successful 26-foot three-pointer by Gasol at the buzzer.
· As both teams went back and forth throughout the second quarter and most of the third, a quick 6-0 run by Portland gave the Trail Blazers a slim 64-61 lead in the third.
· A running three-pointer at the buzzer by Anderson gave the Spurs a 74-72 lead after three.
· A made basket by Aminu with 5:23 remaining in regulation put Portland ahead 85-84; however this would be the Trail Blazer’s last lead of the game.
· Aldridge managed to block a driving layup by McCollum with approximately 10 seconds remaining in regulation.
· After an offensive rebound by McCollum after his blocked shot, McCollum missed from beyond-the-arc as time expires on what would’ve been a game-winning trifecta.
· Aldridge, a potential NBA MVP nominee, registered 22 points and eight boards; has reached double-figure scoring performances in every game played in this season.
· Gasol pulled down a season-high 17 rebounds in the two-point victory; also recorded 20 points and a team-high five assists.
· Anderson, Forbes, Murray all register three assists each.
· Four of the five starters for Portland surpassed 13 points (McCollum, Lilliard, Nurkic, Turner).
· The Spurs have held their last three opponents under 96 points; 3-0 in the last two games while doing so.
· Napier added 14 points on 6-of-10 (60.0 percent) shooting off the bench.
· San Antonio looks to pursue a four-game win streak on a road trip that continues in Utah Thursday night. The Spurs take on the Jazz Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 9:30 p.m. CST.