Spurs batter listless Trail Blazers, 114-83, at Moda Center
The Trail Blazers didn't put up much of a fight Thursday against San Antonio, and saw its 10-game home winning streak crumble at the Moda Center.
San Antonio, which is way under .500, shot well in the first half to build a 21-point lead, and withstood a Portland rally and eventually blew out the home team, winning 114-83.
Portland never led.
"You give a team some confidence, this is the NBA, it's why they play the games," coach Chauncey Billups said. "We just didn't have it.
"You look at a game like this as one you should have won."
The Blazers (11-12) are in the midst of a stretch of 15 of the next 19 games at home, but Thursday's game showed they can be beaten anywhere (not just on the road, where they have a 1-10 record).
Damian Lillard sat out another game with his lower abdominal tendinopathy. Then, Anfernee Simons sprained an ankle and departed in the first half.
But, the Spurs (7-13) built a 21-point lead at halftime, 68-47, making a bunch of 3-pointers (11), scoring in transition and in the paint.
"I'm upset," Billups said, of the first half. "Everything we talked about doing, we just didn't do it."
Portland, using bench players, rallied to within 87-75 on Ben McLemore's 3-pointer with 8:34 left in the game — then fell apart, scoring three points in the next six minutes.
It became a 24-point deficit when Billups put in reserves, and eventually a 31-point deficit.
"I don't think we competed until the second half, it was free and easy for them till the guys on the bench made the run, got multiple stops in the third," Norman Powell said. "We gotta do that for 48 minutes."
Bryn Forbes hit three 3-pointers and scored 18 points, and all five San Antonio starters scored in double figures. Dejounte Murray had 15 points and 13 assists. The Spurs made 14 3-pointers and shot .484 from the field.
Powell and CJ McCollum had 16 points each for Portland, which shot .354 from the field (12 of 34, .353, 3-pointers). The Blazers had 18 turnovers (for 27 San Antonio points). The Spurs outscored Portland 54-26 in the paint.
Overall, Billups lamented another game with a lack of effort — Powell called it lack of "focus" more than lack of effort for players.
"I want us to compete harder man, be more competitive in every game," Billups said. "I don't feel like every night we do that, I really don't. That concerns me. It's a brutal thing to say.
"I'm going to find guys who play hard. I'm willing to lose games that way. If I find guys who will compete and have a winning spirit about them, I love that."
Added Powell, of Portland's struggles: "It's a good thing it's happening now and not later in the season. It's a focus thing. Guys have to be focused on execution on the offensive end and be tied together on defense."
The Blazers play host to Boston at 7 p.m. Saturday. Payton Pritchard, the former Oregon Ducks star, plays for Boston. And, Portland native Ime Udoka, who played at Jefferson High and Portland State, is the head coach. Former Portland-area prep stars Damon Stoudamire (also a former Blazer) and Aaron Miles serve as assistants.
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