Spurs 99, Trail Blazers 83

Tony Parker had a tough time for three quarters – and then

proved that he knows plenty about closing a game.

Parker scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to help

the San Antonio Spurs beat the Portland Trail Blazers 99-83 on

Friday and stay unbeaten at home.

Parker shook off a slow start as the Spurs (8-4) improved to 8-0

at home, their best start since the 2007-08 season when they

started 13-0.

”They did a pretty good job on me the first three quarters,”

Parker said. ”I was just trying to wait for my time.”

Portland (7-4), meanwhile, lost its second straight game and for

only the second time in its last 10 games against San Antonio.

Tiago Splitter scored 14 points for the Spurs, and DeJuan Blair

and Danny Green each added 13. Rookie Kawhi Leonard had 11.

Parker made only four of 12 shots and had four turnovers through

the first three quarters. In the fourth quarter, though, he went 4

of 4 from the field and the free-throw line, had two steals and

didn’t commit a turnover.

”My teammates were playing great, and then in fourth quarter I

felt like it was my moment to be aggressive,” Parker said. ”I got

a couple of steals and made some plays for us to win the

game.”

LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 29 points. Raymond Felton

had 13, and Wes Matthews and Gerald Wallace each had 12.

The Blazers played most of the game without starting center

Marcus Camby, the team’s leading rebounder. Camby went down with a

sprained left ankle with 4:22 to play in the second quarter. After

going up for a shot over Blair, Camby immediately went down and

grabbed his ankle. Following a timeout, he was helped off the floor

and didn’t return.

He said after the game that he won’t be available for Saturday

night’s game against Houston, but hopes to return at some point on

the road trip. Portland will play its next eight games on the

road.

”It’s tough, a tough loss,” Aldridge said. ”We had control

both halves. We just let it slip away. It wasn’t even their

starters tonight. It was their second unit tonight. They put

pressure on us. They crashed the boards tonight. They had more

energy tonight. We can’t have these nights, when we have

back-to-backs. I think we had control. We just didn’t stay

solid.”

Leading the way for the Spurs’ bench, which outscored Portland’s

45-17, was Splitter, who scored nine of the team’s 15 points in a

rocky third quarter.

”We did a pretty good job, coming from the bench, all the guys

playing hard, hard defense,” Splitter said. ”Gary (Neal) had to

play the point guard. We brought the energy and did a good

job.”

For Parker, it was reminiscent of performances he’s seen from

Splitter in the past.

”He reminded me of me of when he was in the Euroleague,”

Parker said, ”demanding the ball and making strong moves and if

he’s going to make his free throws then he is definitely going to

be a force inside.”

It was inside, in fact, that the Spurs won the game,

outrebounding Portland 50-36.

”They don’t have any monsters in the paint,” Blazers coach

Nate McMillan said. ”Tim (Duncan) is good and Blair does a good

job, but that’s not a lot of length. Rebounding is about work, and

we know we need to be a better rebounding team, so everybody has to

play a part in that. I thought there were some times when we were

assuming a teammate was going to get the board.”

Notes: Spurs rookie F Malcolm Thomas, a teammate of Leonard’s at

San Diego State, played his first NBA game. He went scoreless in

two minutes. … Duncan scored seven points on 3-of-7 shooting. He

has 22,805 career points, eight behind Gary Payton for 26th on the

NBA career list. … The Blazers haven’t allowed the Spurs to reach

100 points in 12 games. The last time San Antonio reached the mark

was Dec. 2, 2007. … Neal had a large bandage on the top of his

head after having to get staples to close a gash. He was hurt when

he bumped his head on a medicine cabinet at his house.