97ºF

Spurs rally from 19 down, survive late to beat Blazers

photo

SAN ANTONIO – The Spurs rallied from a 19-point deficit in the first quarter to beat Portland and improve to 3-0 on the season.

DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points, including 18 in the third quarter to turn the tide for San Antonio.

Derrick White sparked the Spurs off the bench after a sluggish start, scoring 21 points.

The Spurs led by double digits in the fourth quarter and survived a late rally by the Blazers. 

PREVIOUS STORY

The San Antonio Spurs will be looking for their third win in a row at home to open the season Monday night when they host the Portland Trail Blazers.

"We are looking forward to it. It's a really good test for us and like I said, we are just trying to come out with a win like that first game," said Jakob Poeltl.

The Trail Blazers lost their season opener at home and come to the Alamo City looking for third win in a row on the road after beating the Utah Jazz and the Dallas Mavericks away from home.

They went back and forth with the Mavericks on Monday night before they eventually pulled out the win 121-119.

Damian Lillard hit a layup with 26 seconds left to give the Blazers the lead for good 120-119. C.J. McCollum led the way with 35 points, Lillard had 28.

So far, they are the usual Trail Blazers, bringing two of the top scoring guards in the league with them to San Antonio.

Lillard is averaging 31.7 points a game while McCollum is knocking down 22 a game.

"Two of the best, two of the most talented guards in the NBA," said Bryn Forbes. "If we do what we practice and what we put in the game plan and what we hold is important I think we will be OK."

One of the reasons the Spurs have a lot of confidence in there ability to slow down those two, the Spurs have one of the top defenders in the league back on the floor in Dejounte Murray.

Pair him with another solid defensive stopper, Derrick White, and that combo just might be able to keep one or both Portland guards from going off.

"With D.J. being here now compared to last year obviously we have another very talented defensive guard that will definitely help us in those situations against great guards like they have," said  Poeltl.

The Spurs are coming off that big win over the Washington Wizards,124-122.

While Murray and White are getting a lot of attention, Bryn Forbes has been starting alongside Murray and already putting up some solid numbers.

He is averaging 18 points a game and grabbing 4.5 rebounds. He is shooting 50% from the field, 46% from 3-point range.

Even though Forbes was forced into the point guard role while Murray was out last year, since Murray has been able to take back the point guard position it has freed up Forbes to play the two, a spot where he feels a little more comfortable.

"I would rather be at the two, off the ball where I can get more shots," Forbes said. "Playing point guard, it's difficult you know, guarding guards for 40 (minutes) or the whole court. Having to bring it up, call plays, get people in the right position. It's like, people don't understand that. It was like a whole different game almost than I was used to last year. If I had a choice probably the two."

The Spurs wrap up their three-game homestand before they head West for their first road trip of the season.

It will be back-to-back games against the L.A. Clippers Thursday and Golden State Friday.


About the Authors: