Blazers spoil Parker’s return
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
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
Webster finished with 21 points and made all five of his
“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.
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
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.