Notebook: Blazers 98, Spurs 90



Posted Dec 14, 2012 2:40 AM

By Kerry Eggers, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Rookie Damian Lillard outdueled All-Star Tony Parker at the point guard position and Portland held off a late San Antonio surge to win 98-90 Thursday night at the Rose Garden. Lillard collected season highs in points (29) and rebounds (seven) and had six assists as the Trail Blazers (10-12) handed the Spurs (18-6) their second loss in as many nights. Parker led San Antonio with 21 points and dished out five assists.

QUOTABLE: "Beating a team like San Antonio — the best team in the West, maybe the best team in the league — it was probably our best win this season because we played an entire game. We didn't have to come back. We were steady and played well throughout."
-- Portland coach Terry Stotts

THE STAT: The Spurs committed 19 turnovers — two short of their season high — resulting in 17 Portland points.

TURNING POINT: San Antonio was within 93-90 when Nicolas Batum buried a 3-pointer to make it 96-90 with 1:08 left. The Spurs missed their final four shots as the Blazers put the win on ice.

QUOTABLE II: "You can call it fatigue or whatever it may be ... we just couldn't find any rhythm. Give credit to [the Blazers]. They made shots when they needed to and kept us at bay."
-- San Antonio's Tim Duncan. The Spurs were playing the second of back-to-back games and their fifth game in seven days.

HOT: Lillard found the hot hand midway through the game, scoring 22 of his points on 8-for-15 shooting in the second and third quarters.

NOT: San Antonio's Gary Neal — who had busted up Portland with 27 points and seven rebounds in a 112-109 win at the Rose Garden on Nov. 10 — was 2-for-10 from the field and scored six points Thursday night.

GOOD MOVE: Batum drilled a three, then raced down to block a Parker driving layup at the other end in the game's closing moments.

BAD MOVE: With Portland clinging to a 61-59 lead midway through the third quarter, Blazer rookie Meyers Leonard went up for an uncontested dunk — and clanged it off the rim and out of bounds.

QUOTABLE III: "I knew it was going to be a tough cover for me. I wanted to attack the game offensively, and defensively try to make it as tough as possible for him to get his shot off and make those floaters."
-- Portland's Damian Lillard

NOTABLE: Portland's string of 24 straight missed 3-point attempts ended late in the first quarter when Batum hit one from beyond the arc. The Blazers set an NBA record for futility by going 0-for-20 on 3s in a 92-74 win over Toronto on Monday. They were only 7-for-27 (.259) from 3-point range on Thursday.

UP NEXT: For the Spurs, Saturday vs. Boston, Monday at Oklahoma City, Tuesday at Denver. For the Trail Blazers, Sunday vs. New Orleans, Thursday vs. Denver, Saturday vs. Phoenix.