NBA: Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard roll past Spurs
Damian Lillard hit seven 3-pointers and scored 37 points as the visiting Portland Trail Blazers rolled to a 128-112 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday in a Western Conference dustup.
The Trail Blazers led by 16 points at halftime and never let San Antonio to get closer than four points throughout the third and fourth quarters. Lillard’s final bucket of the night gave Portland a 119-103 lead with 3:25 to play and sent the starters for both teams to the benches with the Trail Blazers’ fifth win in their past six games firmly in hand.
Anfernee Simons added 23 points for Portland, with Jerami Grant scoring 18, Jusuf Nurkic hitting for 15 and Shaedon Sharpe contributing 12 points.
Keldon Johnson led the Spurs with 25 points while Doug McDermott added 14, Keita Bates-Diop and Devin Vassell scored 13 apiece, Josh Richardson hit for 11 and Tre Jones tallied 10.
San Antonio had a three-game win streak snapped. The Spurs played without their starting and backup centers, Jakob Poeltl and Zach Collins, who missed the game with knee and ankle injuries, respectively. Key backup guard Romeo Langford was also out with an ankle injury.
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) December 15, 2022
The Trail Blazers set the pace in the opening period, riding 12 points from Lillard and a final 12-4 run in the quarter to build a 39-28 lead after the first 12 minutes. Portland continued to expand its lead over the second period, running the margin to as many as 19 points on the way to a 73-57 lead at the break.
Lillard led all scorers with 22 points in the half, with Simons adding 15 and Grant hitting for 14 as Portland outshot the Spurs 65.9 percent to 46.2 percent over the first two periods and hit 10 of its 21 3-point attempts.
Portland’s 73 points were the most surrendered in a half by the Spurs this season.
San Antonio got 12 points from Bates-Diop in the half while Johnson and McDermott had 11 each.
A 3-pointer from Johnson and a four-point play by Vassell helped San Antonio claw back to within 85-78 with 4:42 to play in the third quarter. A Simons finger roll layup with 24.6 seconds left in the period gave the Trail Blazers a 97-89 advantage heading to the final 12 minutes.