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NBA -- Beaten by 30, Spurs suffer worst loss in 16 years


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- For one night at least, the San Antonio Spurs' aura of homecourt invincibility was thoroughly shattered when they were blown out by the Portland Trail Blazers, 136-106, Friday night at the AT&T Center.

Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year honors, led Portland's assault with 35 points and nine assists while All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge added another 26 points. J.J. Hickson put an exclamation point on the rout with 23 markers and 11 rebounds as the Blazers made an amazing 53 of 86 field goals (61.6 percent) and 13-of-21 triples (61.9 percent).

After a close first half, which ended in a 57-57 tie, Portland began to pull away in the third stanza before completely wiping out San Antonio with a 46-point fourth quarter explosion. Eric Maynor chipped in 20 points for the Blazers while Wesley Matthews added 15.

Portland's 136-point total is the most the Spurs have ever surrendered at the AT&T center while the 30-point margin of defeat was the worst they've endured since 1997, when they were blasted for 33 by the Toronto Raptors at the Alamodome..

The Spurs shot an above average 52.4 percent from the floor, but they couldn't stop the Blazers, who pounded San Antonio's defense inside-out. "There will be a lot of film session in this one. The game just got away from us, " perennial All-Star Tim Duncan told NBA.com.

Duncan led the Spurs' losing effort with 18 points and eight rebounds while Kawhi Leonard and DeJuan Blair registered 16 apiece. Manu Ginobili also ended up with 16 but the Argentine spitfire missed nine of 15 field goals and committed four turnovers.

Even with the loss, San Antonio continues to top the Western Conference with a 48-15 slate, 1 1/2 games better than the 46-16 Oklahoma City Thunder. Winners of 17 straight, the 46-14 Miami Heat are in complete control of the Eastern Conference, a full eight games ahead of second-placer Indiana Pacers. (Homer Sayson)

Photo: Blazers rookie Damian Lillard was all smiles Friday night when he scored 35 points to lead Portland to a 136-106 rout of the San Antonio Spurs at the AT@T Center.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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