Series starts 11/2
|Game 1: Saturday, November 2nd|
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|Game 2: Friday, January 17th|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
|Game 3: Wednesday, February 19th|
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|Game 4: Wednesday, March 12th|
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10:00 PM ET, February 19, 2014
Moda Center, Portland, OR
Patty Mills came off the bench to score 29 points, Marco Belinelli hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:34 remaining and San Antonio rallied in the second half to pull out a 111-109 victory over the Trail Blazers.
San Antonio has won two of three games this season when Duncan and Parker were both absent from the lineup.
Mills helped fill the void with a 24-point second half. The fourth-year guard from Australia came off the bench to hit 13 of 26 shots against the Blazers.
Belinelli had 20 points and Manu Ginobili 16 for San Antonio.
Mills has been on a hot streak since the All-Star break concluded, scoring 25 and 29 points in the Spurs' first two games back.
"If it wasn't for him the last couple nights, we would have really struggled," San Antonio forward Danny Green said. "He's doing what Tony usually does, in taking over in that fourth quarter."
Mills explained his recent stretch in humble tones, saying, "For me, it's just been learning from great guys. We've got three future Hall of Famers and a great coach, so I've just sat back and learned."
It wasn't just Mills, though. Belinelli hit four 3-pointers, and Tiago Splitter had 15 points and six rebounds in returning to the lineup for the first time since Feb. 6.
"I thought the effort was fantastic," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
Portland was without leading scorer and rebounder LaMarcus Aldridge, who missed the game with a groin injury and is expected to be out at least a week. Also sidelined were forward Joel Freeland (knee) and center Meyers Leonard (ankle).
Aside from Duncan and Parker, the Spurs also were without guard Kawhi Leonard (right hand).
Damian Lillard scored 31 points, including 15 during the fourth quarter, for Portland. Coming off his first All-Star Game appearance, Lillard hit 13 of 21 shots and handed out six assists.
Without Aldridge, Freeland and Leonard, the Blazers had to resort to playing a small lineup. It resulted in erratic play, with stretches during which the Blazers' offense went missing.
"We tried to beat San Antonio at their game and they did it better than us," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "San Antonio is used to playing these games without their guys, and they plug guys in and they play well."
Trailing 81-79 after three quarters, San Antonio took command when Green hit back-to-back 3-pointers to fuel a 10-0 run at the fourth quarter's outset. The Spurs led by as many as 10 points, but the Blazers eventually pulled even at 101-all on Matthews' steal and dunk with 1:52 remaining.
On San Antonio's next possession, Belinelli hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1:34 left to put the Spurs back on top.
Portland led by as many as eight points during the first half and settled for a 52-51 halftime lead.
Both teams had big runs during a free-flowing third quarter. Mills finished an 8-2 run with a layup to give San Antonio a 69-61 lead. Portland responded with seven consecutive points, then took a 79-75 lead when Williams scored six consecutive points late in the quarter.
Portland was the last NBA team to use the same starting lineup this season until Wednesday, when Dorell Wright replaced Aldridge against San Antonio. The Blazers are the first team since the 2010-11 Spurs to start the same lineup during its first 53 games. ... Splitter returned to the lineup after missing the previous four games with a calf injury. ... Blazers forward Victor Claver, who hasn't played since Nov. 15 and has logged just three minutes of playing time this season, made a first-quarter appearance and played seven minutes. ... San Antonio concludes a nine-game road trip that began Feb. 3 on Friday at Phoenix. ... Before Wednesday, San Antonio was 1-9 in its previous 10 games at Portland.
PORTLAND, OR - FEBRUARY 19: Boris Diaw #33 of the San Antonio Spurs controls the ball against the Portland Trail...(Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Around The Association
MVP: Patty Mills has been incredible, and that's the only word to describe him after the Spurs' 111-109 win in Portland. Mills went for 29 points in 29 minutes and continues to be the Spurs' lifeblood through this awful stretch of injuries.
X factor: Marco Belinelli, the reigning 3-Point Shootout champion, hit a massive 3-pointer with the game tied and 1:34 remaining, and the Spurs never gave up the lead from there. He just continued what has arguably been the best season of his career.
That was ... Spurs basketball: San Antonio has been under scrutiny for not being able to beat the NBA's best. But the hugely shorthanded Spurs have now defeated the Clippers and Blazers in consecutive road games to maintain the second seed in the West, and Kawhi Leonard is expected to play on Friday after missing a month due to injury.
Next 5 Games
The Spurs improved to 6-2 on their 9-game rodeo road trip, and they won Wednesday despite missing Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. Their Big 3 have combined to miss 12 games during the trip, similar to their successful rodeo road trip last season.[+]
Spurs Last 2 Rodeo Road Trips
Patty Mills (SA): led the Spurs with 29 points off the bench, the 3rd-highest scoring game of his career... He's scored more than 20 points 8 times in his career... All 8 of them have come on the road.
LaMarcus Aldridge will miss a week of action with a groin injury. Through their first 53 games, the Trail Blazers had used the same lineup in every game, the only team that had used the same lineup all season.
While the Blazers will have to introduce their first new starter since the beginning of the season, don't expect the Spurs to feel sorry for them. San Antonio has started 15 different players this season, tied for the most in the NBA.[+]
Most Starters On A Single Team - This Season
ESPN Stats & Information
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