“Everybody rests players in this schedule,” said San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich after his team was shot out of the Rose Garden by the Portland Trail Blazers by 40-points on Tuesday, 137-97.
The Spurs went into Portland with the longest winning streak in the NBA, 11-games. Then, coach Popovich elected to choose rest over another possible win on the second night of a back-to-back, as he rested All-Star point guard Tony Parker and forward Tim Duncan.
The Blazers took advantage of the depleted Spurs lineup with outside shooting as the Blazers made 15-of-28 three pointers, led by LaMarcus Aldridge (21 points) and Jamal Crawford (20 points). The Spurs’ rookie Kawhi Leonard used the 43 minutes he played to not only play tough defense once again, but showcase his hidden offensive skills as Leonard lead the team with 24 points, 10 rebounds, five steals, and one block.
The Spurs started rookie Cory Joseph (13 points) at points guard, and Richard Jefferson at power forward. The Blazers made the most of the smaller Spurs lineup as the Blazers went on an early 9-0 run five minutes into the first quarter to stretch their lead to nine points. The Spurs responded with their own 12-2 run two minutes later and they earned their first lead of the game, 20-19. This however, would be the Spurs’ last lead of the game.
From the moment the Spurs took the lead, the Blazers went on a blitzkrieg as they used a 22-3 run to end the first quarter leading 41-23. The Blazers were on fire behind the arc as they shot 8-of-11 from distance. Jamal Crawford had 15 points alone, while Leonard had six points. The Blazers shot 68% from the field in the first quarter.
Leonard and Gary Neal (10 points) tried to keep the Spurs competitive in the second quarter, but the Blazers still outscored the Spurs 25-20. The Spurs shot 2-of-10 outside of the paint in the second quarter as the Blazers lead 66-43 going into halftime, they were now shooting 60% in one half. Fresh signee Eric Dawson also scored his first bucket as a Spur as he made a 15-foot jumper.
The third quarter didn’t get any prettier as the Spurs went down by as much as 40 points, the Blazers put up 37 points on the scoreboard and had already scored over 100 points going into the final quarter, leading 103-65. Leonard was once again the leader for the Spurs as he scored eight points in the quarter by scoring with jump shots, steals for points, and aggressive drives to the basket.
In the fourth quarter, the Blazers’ lead got as high as 47 points. Dawson finished with nine points, six rebounds, one steal, and one block in his Spurs debut. Leonard scored five more points in the fourth quarter, but Portland was still too much as the Blazers had over six players score more than 11 points in the game.
“They busted their ass, they did as well as they could,” said coach Popovich after the game on his young squads performance. Coach Popovich also mentioned that had Tiago Splitter and Manu Ginobili been healthy, he would have used them and still rested Parker and Duncan.
With the loss, the Spurs are now 23-10 on the season, they’re 10-9 on the road, and 7-1 on the Rodeo Road Trip. The team will fly to Denver where they will face the Nuggets on Thursday before their five-day All-Star break begins.
The Spurs looked like a bunch a college boys last night. I swear this game would of been COMPLETELY different if Tony Parker was running the show. This says it all and I'll start the campaign... TP for MVP.
When we have our full squad, the rest of the league should be scared. And if they aren't scared, it's because they aren't watching the Spurs.
Go Spurs Go... TP FOR MVP!
Well I was hoping that with the two stars sitting and JA asking for a trade and getting to play this would be his chance to show us and the other 29 teams what he's capable of. Well we got it he cannot create his own shot or get around a defender one on one ill say it you had your chance and it was last night so long I still think you would be good but we saw it last night. Eric dawson played better.
Or Anderson/Jefferson for Bucks Illyasova/Sanders. Its a win-win proposition. The bucks get wing players and the spurs get interior player. Besides, the spurs scouted Sanders before.
James Anderson requested for trade. Its a shame to see a good player go but to see him rot with the spurs is unforgiveable. So where will his future take him? To the Mil Bucks for Illyasova/Sanders for Anderson/Bonner. It is doubted if the spurs will let go of Bonner.To the Nuggets for Fariad. Fariad is rarely fielded but his defense is creditable. He doesn't have the height but its ok. To the jazz for Favors and the spurs give Anderson/Jefferson. The jazz has several big men but lacking in wing players. To the clippers for Evans. Anderson could replace Billups. Good luck Mr. Anderson!
Here was a chance for Anderson to show what he has and he did. He has nothing of value to the Spurs. Blair had the same chance and he continued to try to do things he just can't do. Jefferson remains inconsistent. Dawson needs more time and I'm not sure he'll get it on a 10 day. Only one more game in his 10 days,but at 6'9" he's bigger than both Blair and Jefferson.
i only watched the 1st quarter. that was enough. considering i have to get up at 4:30 yesterday and 5 am today and a late game that was enough lol. james "get me outa here" anderson got minutes, and looking at it he got some FTs in but couldnt shoot. dawson looks like he did his best but dleague vs blazers = whole other ball game.
the backups and backups to the back ups did their best and im proud of my spurs regardless but damn 40 points?
@LFJeremy you can add "no T.J." to that list as well since he was doing his job as back-up for Tony pretty well before he got injured. and you're right, the Blazers just had their night in shooting the ball well, especially from beyond the arc. it basically reminded me of the first game against the T-Wolves when they were shooting lights out. no team can duplicate that every single game, though, so i don't expect the Blazers to do that next time against us. combine that with bad shooting from our young guys and i expected it would be a blowout. i just didn't think it would be by 40 points though. but yea, no need to worry. either 8-1 or 7-2 after Thursday night, it was a successful RRT.