Blazers hand banged-up Spurs 4th straight loss

By Paul J. Weber

Associated Press

Published: Monday, March 28 2011 9:33 p.m. MDT

San Antonio Spurs' DeJuan Blair, left, sits with San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan, center, and San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker, right, of France, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 28, 2011 in San Antonio. Duncan is out with a sprained ankle.

Eric Gay, Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — Andre Miller scored 26 points and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the slumping and banged-up San Antonio Spurs 100-92 on Monday night as Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan sat out with injuries.

The Blazers beat the NBA's winningest team for the second time in three days, this time with four San Antonio starters sidelined. The Spurs hope at least some will be healthy Thursday against Boston.

Gerald Wallace added 14 points for Portland and hit a crucial 3-pointer with 2:02 left, finishing a quick 7-0 burst that put the Blazers back ahead.

George Hill led San Antonio with 27 points.

The Spurs have lost four in row, their longest slide all season, and their once-commanding lead in the West is shrinking with the Los Angeles Lakers surging.

San Antonio had a seven-game lead over the Lakers a week ago. But after losing all three stops on a road trip, and returning home to host the Blazers short-handed, the Lakers trail by just 3½ games.

The Spurs (57-17) have eight games left.

Portland (43-31) helped its own playoff jockeying. The Blazers kept their hold on sixth place and are 1½ games behind Denver for fifth.

But this one didn't come easy. Not even with the Spurs putting three rookies on the court at times.

Wesley Matthews scored 19 points, and Nicolas Batum had 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Blazers. Portland led throughout the first half, but lost the lead late in the third quarter when rookie Danny Green hit a 3-pointer.

Green — who had played all of 14 minutes this season — followed by stealing the ball from Brandon Roy and coasting in for a wide-open dunk. After trailing by seven at halftime, the Spurs entered the fourth quarter ahead 72-67.

But Portland pulled together. The Blazers buried San Antonio with a 15-1 run and sealed the win with Wallace's 3-pointer.

Ginobili (left quad contusion) and Duncan (left ankle sprain) were expected scratches. Duncan is still recovering from spraining his ankle last week, and Ginobili left Sunday's loss at Memphis early after getting hurt.

Parker (left knee contusion) and McDyess (sore back) were the surprises. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich suggested Parker could be back for the Celtics, but wouldn't guess when Duncan or Ginobili might return.

Sitting McDyess, meanwhile, was just playing it safe with the playoffs imminent.

"Money time is approaching," Popovich said before the game.

Rookie Tiago Splitter, starting again in place of Duncan, added 14 points for the Spurs.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS