PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Scottie Pippen had the postseason in mind
against the Spurs.
"Any time you've got a contender coming in like this you want
to send them a message -- just in case you play them again in the
playoffs,'' Pippen said.
But it wasn't easy.
With the score tied at 80, Dale Davis hit a turnaround jumper
and Anderson added a layup with 1:30 left.
San Antonio's Tim Duncan scored, and his free throw pulled the
Spurs within 84-83. But Pippen's running jumper stretched the
Blazers' lead and Anderson's driving layup with 17 seconds left put
them ahead 88-83.
Duncan narrowed it to 88-85 with 7.7 seconds to go, but Tony
Parker fouled Anderson. He made both free throws, and Parker's
layup with a second left didn't matter.
"It looked like D.A. was struggling a little bit, but late in
the game he took over," Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks said or
Anderson. "He made a couple drive-in buckets and foul shots and he
really took over the game."
Stephen Jackson had 18 points and Parker added 17 for the Spurs,
who snapped a three-game winning streak.
The Blazers opened a 12-point lead at the close of the first
quarter when Anderson's layup put them ahead 24-12.
Duncan, averaging 30 points in his previous five games, voiced
his frustration in the first half when he missed an open jumper
from the top of the key.
"Get in there!" he exclaimed after the ball failed to drop.
"I had a few shots I flat-out missed, and defensively they
surrounded me," Duncan said. "I struggled."
After taking a 41-35 halftime advantage, the Blazers struggled
to start the second half. The Spurs got within 49-47 on Bruce
Bowen's 3-pointer, then tied it on Jackson's layup with 5:37 left
in the third quarter.
Damon Stoudamire, who has been benched for nine of the
Portland's last 11 games and has publicly complained about his
diminished role on the team, came into the game to a rousing
ovation and immediately sparked a rally. He earned an assist when
Arvydas Sabonis' 3-pointer made it 52-49.
Stoudamire's 3-pointer put the Blazers ahead 61-53 with 39
seconds left in the quarter.
"Sometimes you need a little energy, and Damon came in and did
a heck of a job -- to step in and make the shots that he made and
run the ball like he did," Cheeks said.
But the Spurs kept it close, tying it at 78 on Jackson's
3-pointer with 3:52 left in the game. Malik Rose made a pair of
free throws to put the Spurs ahead 80-78, but Anderson converted a
pair of his own for Portland to put it at 80-all.
Duncan had 23 points as San Antonio beat slumping Seattle 106-95
on Wednesday night, but the Blazers held him to just 12 points.
The last time these two teams got together, on Nov. 9, Blazers
forward Bonzi Wells was accused of spitting on Spurs reserve Danny
Ferry. The Blazers won 95-76, in one of just three losses San
Antonio has suffered at home this season.
Wells was suspended for a game. Ferry did not play Thursday
Pippen passed Mark Aguirre for 44th on the NBA's career
scoring list with a dunk in the first quarter. Pippen now has
18,458 points. ... Even before the game, Stoudamire was concerned
about his place on the team. ``I'm 29 years old, I'm in the prime
of my career and I can't get any minutes,'' he said. Afterward, he
was more positive: ``A lot of good things are happening to us, and
I want to be a part of that,'' he said. ``I don't want to be the
cause of a lot of negativity.'' ... The Spurs had won all 11 games
this season when someone other than Duncan led them in scoring.