Blazers Host Spurs Again Before Hitting The Road

by Casey Holdahl
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Before heading out for yet another extended road trip, the Portland Trail Blazers will host the San Antonio Spurs for the second and final time this season Sunday night at the Moda Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

San Antonio won the first meeting between the two teams 93-91 back on December 20 at the Moda Center. Portland led for much of the game, only to be overtaken in the fourth quarter by a Spurs team playing without Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker. CJ McCollum had a chance to win the game, but his three-pointer at the buzzer missed the mark, resulting in Portland’s seventh home loss of the season.

But Portland lost more than the game that night, with Damian Lillard suffering a right hamstring strain in the third quarter of the two-point loss. The 6-3 guard out of Weber State continued to play after the injury despite being progressively unable to get up and down the court.

“I don’t think (San Antonio) knew exactly how bad my leg was hurt or whatever, so I mean, it is what it is," said Lillard after the game. "If I could move, I’m sure you guys know I would have been a lot more aggressive and I would have been a lot more hands-on with the end of that game but I did what I could."

After missing five games with the hamstring injury, Lillard is shooting 47 percent from the field and 53 percent from three in two games since returning to the lineup. Lillard has scored at least 20 points in four of his last six games against the Spurs.

As for the Spurs, they've gone 5-3 since beating Portland on December 20 and have recently welcomed Leonard, who has played just eight games this season due to a quadriceps injury.

Portland enters Sunday's game coming off a rarity this season: a blowout win versus the Hawks Friday night at the Moda Center. The Spurs is also coming off a relatively easy 103-89 victory versus the Suns Friday in San Antonio.

Sunday night's game can be seen locally on NBC Sports Northwest with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam. Brian Wheeler and Michael Holton will have the call on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the Trail Blazers Radio Network.