NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, March 12th
(All times Eastern)
Portland Trail Blazers (42-22) at San Antonio Spurs (47-16), 9:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs are back in the Alamo City for
three straight games, starting with Wednesday's matchup with the Portland
The Spurs will also host the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz, and have won
six in a row at the AT&T Center, where they own a 23-8 record.
San Antonio has won seven in a row overall and 14 of its last 17 games,
including Tuesday's 104-96 victory against the Chicago Bulls. The Spurs led
38-14 after the first quarter and survived Chicago's rally in the second half
to stay a half-game ahead of Oklahoma City for the West's top seed.
"Best first half we have played in a long time. Hopefully we are not peaking.
It's not the right time," Spurs reserve Manu Ginobili said.
Ginobili and Tony Parker scored 22 and 20 points, respectively, while Kawhi
Leonard had 16 points. Tim Duncan was limited to four points, but grabbed nine
rebounds and handed out five assists for the Spurs, who made 50.6 percent from
the field and sank 12-of-21 3-pointers.
The Spurs are headed toward another postseason and sit 3 1/2 games ahead of
Houston for the Southwest lead.
Portland limps into the Alamo City having lost the first three tests on a
five-game southern road trip. It has dropped decisions to Dallas, Houston and
Memphis, and suffered 109-99 defeat to the Grizzlies on Tuesday.
Damian Lillard's 32 points went to waste and LaMarcus Aldridge added 19 and 10
rebounds. Nicolas Batum was the other double-digit scorer with 15 points and
also pulled down eight rebounds for the Blazers.
Aldridge made just 8-of-23 shots and Lillard was 8-of-21 from the field.
"I'm just missing shots," Aldridge admitted. "I have had great looks and I've
missed them. I am going to find my rhythm and I am going to make those shots
that I've been missing soon."
The Blazers are 18-14 on the road and fifth in the West standings, two games
behind the Rockets. They will close the trek Friday at New Orleans.
Blazers guard Mo Williams is questionable against the Spurs with a hip issue.
Portland has won two of the first three meetings with San Antonio this season
and is 4-1 in the last five games in this series. The Spurs, though, have a
14-5 record in the last 19 home games in this series.
Wednesday's game features two of the highest scoring teams in the league, as
Portland sits second with 107.5 ppg and San Antonio is averaging 104.6 ppg.
03/12 10:23:15 ET