The San Antonio Spurs hadn’t won in the Rose Garden since Apr. 6, 2008 and Portland was determined to continue that streak.
Portland received four — that’s right, four — points from their reserves. The 59-point differential in bench points put them in a hole. That hole was nearly closed by the Blazers top three scorers in LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard, who accounted for 82 of 109 points.
Gary Neal scored a team-high 27 points. 15 of his points came in the final period as the Spurs scored 39 points to stave off a furious rally in the final minutes. Lillard, Batum and Wesley Mathews each connected on a 3-pointer to bring the deficit to a single point.
Tim Duncan, finishing with 22 points and nine rebounds, responded with a layup as the shot clock was winding down. Batum’s fifth 3-pointer of the night tied the game at 109 with 40.5 seconds remaining.
On the ensuing possession, Manu Ginobili found a sliver of space, drawing a couple of free throws. Ginobili made both and, following Batum’s missed 3-pointer and Aldridge’s last second heave, San Antonio finally clinched their sixth victory of the season.