SAN ANTONIO – DeMar DeRozan was embarrassed after the San Antonio Spurs suffered two consecutive blowout losses. And he was determined to not let it happen a third time.
DeRozan had a season-high 36 points as he led the Spurs to a 131-118 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers (13-10) at the AT&T Center on Sunday night.
“We’re still trying to find our way,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “But tonight we did a lot of good things on both ends of the court. We feel good about it but it is one game. We have to build on it.”
Here is what went good and bad for the Spurs, as well as three standout players: DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Patty Mills.
- The Spurs finally broke their two-game slide and played inspired basketball to get out of a really bad slump.
- Davis Bertans was inserted into the starting lineup for his scoring and he delivered. He would finish with 10 points on 57 percent shooting.
- Big man Jakob Poeltl contributed well off the bench finishing with six points, three rebounds, and a block.
- Rudy Gay bounced back from a subpar game last time out and scored 18 points on 70 percent shooting.
- San Antonio could not contain the scoring of Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum, who combined for 61 points in the loss for Portland.
- The Spurs began the second half with five straight turnovers but would only finish with 12 for the game.
Three Standout Players:
The guard was determined for the Spurs to walk out of the AT&T Center victorious on Sunday and he put his team on his back in the second half to make sure that happened.
DeRozan scored a season-high 36 points and went on a tear in the third quarter. He had 18 points in the period as San Antonio went on a 19-2 scoring run to take a 13-point lead.
Aldridge and DeRozan combined for 65 points in the win, which is one major key for San Antonio this season. He went inside and scored, while has was solid from the outside.
Aldridge finished with 29 points and eight rebounds on the night. Defensively, he was active as he added a steal and a block to his stat line and kept Portland out of the paint in the second half.
“LaMarcus was great,” Popovich said. “He contributed on both ends of the court and really gave us a lift.”
The Spurs’ leader off the bench sparked the team and it looks like the rest of the guys followed his lead.
Mills finished with 15 points and went 3-for-5 from three-point range on the night. He was aggressive on both ends of the floor as he weaved his way to the paint and got his hands in the passing lanes for attempted steals.
“We played defense and we had each other’s backs,” Mills said. “We played with a confidence that we haven’t had the last few games.”
The Spurs are now 11-12 on the season and will return to the court on Tuesday night when they travel to face the Utah Jazz (11-13) at 8 pm Central Time from Vivant Home Smart Arena.