The San Antonio Spurs opened up their three-game road trip with a 114-83 thumping of the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center on Thursday night.
The victory over the shorthanded Blazers gave the San Antonio Spurs their largest margin of victory for the season.
“Obviously we had a break with Damian not playing tonight, but it happens all the time and you can’t feel sorry for anybody. But he would have made a difference,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said.
Spurs Twitter fan favorite Bryn Forbes had 18 points off the bench to lead San Antonio while Dejounte Murray had 15 points and 13 assists and Doug McDermott added 16 points.
”He won a ring for a reason. He was a big part of that championship run,” McDermott said of Forbes. ”He’s got all the confidence in the world, so it’s a great weapon to have off the bench when you have a guy like that who can come in and change the game instantly.”
Keldon Johnson and Jakob Poeltl finished with 14 points each for the Spurs.
San Antonio snapped Portland’s 10-game home winning streak with the win after the Blazers were 10-1 coming into the contest.
Portland was led by CJ McCollum and Norman Powell with 16 points each. Lillard missed the game with a lower abdominal tendinopathy and Anfernee Simons started in Lillard’s place but he suffered an ankle injury early and did not return.
”My biggest concern, I think, at the moment, is I want us to compete harder, man. I want us to compete harder,” Coach Billups said of his Portland squad. ”I want us to be competitive in every game. And I don’t feel like every night we do that. We don’t.”
The San Antonio Spurs are now 7-13 on the season and will return to the court on Saturday when they face the Golden State Warriors at 7:30 p.m.