Spurs fall to Blazer’s Rally, 96-93
By ANNE M. PETERSON
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Resiliency is the Trail Blazers’ trademark this season.
Despite a slew of injuries – the most recent to All-Star guard Brandon Roy – Portland has managed to win in unexpected ways.
Case in point: Thursday night’s 96-93 come-from-behind victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
“You’ve got to be tenacious,” Webster said. “You can’t have any letdowns. If things don’t go your way you don’t carry it with you. We did that tonight and walked out of here with this win.”
The Spurs, boosted by the return of Tony Parker, led by 10 points early in the fourth quarter but the Blazers made it 85-83 on Nicolas Batum’s layup.
After Manu Ginobili hit a jumper for the Spurs, Martell Webster’s 3-pointer narrowed it to 87-86 with 3:38 left.
Aldridge hit a jumper with 2:54 left to give the Blazers the lead and Webster dropped another 3 to make it 91-87 with 22.9 seconds to go.
With the victory, Portland swept the three-game series over San Antonio this season. The Blazers have won their last five against the Spurs.
Webster finished with 21 points and made all five of his 3-pointers.
“I was just living in the moment. It was a great feeling,” Webster said. “I’m glad we got that win and the tiebreaker in case it counts for something down the road.”
Ginobili led the Spurs with 21 points and Tim Duncan had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
“Handled the ball well all night then turned it over down the stretch and didn’t shoot well,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “The combination of poor shooting and the turnovers down the stretch gave us the loss.”
Parker missed the previous three games with a mid left ankle sprain. Parker, who started, pounced on the Blazers early with 16 first-half points and 18 for the game.
Portland remained without All-Star guard Brandon Roy, who continues to nurse a left hamstring injury.
Roy, who is averaging 23.1 points, has missed 11 of the Blazers’ last 12 games. He was originally hurt during the third quarter of the Blazers’ 120-108 home win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 13.
Portland coach Nate McMillan said before the game that he is hopeful Roy will return for Saturday night’s game at home against the Los Angeles Lakers.
“This year we’ve lost to the Blazers twice without Brandon Roy, lost to Denver without Carmelo,” Spurs forward Richard Jefferson said. “We just haven’t played well and hit shots the last six minutes of the game.”
George Hill’s jumper put the Spurs ahead 46-38 midway through the second quarter but Portland tied it at 46 after three consecutive baskets from rookie Dante Cunningham.
The Blazers took a 49-48 lead on Webster’s 3-pointer, but the Spurs went into halftime with a 53-51 edge.
Ginobili hit consecutive 3-pointers to put the Spurs up 74-66 at the end of the third and San Antonio began to pull away.
Roy’s injury was the latest to strike the Blazers. The team lost center Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla to season-ending injuries. Forwards Batum and Rudy Fernandez each missed a significant number of games with injury, and forward Travis Outlaw remains out with a fractured foot.
Portland was coming off a 118-105 loss to the Jazz in Utah on Wednesday night. The Spurs were also playing the second of a back-to-back after a 115-113 victory at Sacramento.
NOTES: The last time the two teams met, Roy also watched from the bench with a sore shoulder. Jerryd Bayless made his first career start and scored a career-high 31 points with seven assists to help Portland to a 98-94 road victory on Dec. 23. … It is the first time that Portland has swept the season series against the Spurs since 1996-97.
Updated February 5, 2010