----- The up and down season of the Portland Trail Blazers continued on Wednesday night as they upset the San Antonio Spurs 110-106 one night after getting throttled by 23-points in New Orelans.
Portland (30-37) played what might have been their most complete game of the season on Wednesday night with a 110-106 win over the Spurs. Damian Lillard saved the Trail Blazers tonight with brilliant play. Lillard finished with 36 points and hit two clutch free throws in the closing seconds to seal the win.
The Blazers had a 104-97 lead late in the fourth quarter, but two missed free throws and a turnover on an inbounds pass allowed the Spurs to cut the lead to 104-102 with 53 seconds to play.
Lillard got the Blazers going with 12 points in the first quarter as the Blazers came out from the tip with great energy and execution. The Spurs closed out the opening quarter on a 9-4 run to take a 29-28 lead.
Both teams continued to make shots in the second quarter with the Spurs extending their lead to 50-43 with just over two-minutes remaining in the half, but the Blazers closed out the half on an 11-5 run to cut the lead to one at 55-54 at halftime. The Blazers scored 14 points off of 10 Spurs turnovers in the first half and had seven steals.
Lillard continued his hot shooting scoring 16 points in the third quarter. The Blazers were aggressive in the quarter on the glass and hit all nine of their free throws to take a two-point lead heading into the fourth at 82-80.
After a quiet first half, Jusuf Nurkic responded in the fourth quarter scoring 10 points and 4 rebounds in the period and chased down a loose ball late allowing Portland to run more time off the clock forcing the Spurs to foul.
Nurkic finished with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 assists. CJ McCollum finished with 26 points and Allen Crabbed added 10 points off the bench.
San Antonio (52-15) got 34 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists from Kawhi Leonard and 19 points from LaMarcus Aldridge. Pau Gasol and David Lee each scored 12 points off the bench.
The Blazers are now 2-1 on their five-game road trip with games remaining on Saturday and Sunday in Atlanta and Miami.
Chad's Take- Terry Stotts said it best after the game, "This was the win of the year." He's right, this was the win of the year for the Blazers. One night after their most uninspiring performance of the year, the Blazers respond with their best. This team's best trait is their resiliency and it showed again. Lillard is playing like an MVP since the All Star break. He is second in the league in scoring since the break and he was huge tonight. The Blazers now have a ton of momentum heading into their game Saturday in Atlanta against the Hawks.