“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 101-101 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.
NOTES: 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 past 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 past 10 games at Portland.