Portland Trail Blazers rally to win 117-110 over San Antonio Spurs: At the buzzer


The Portland Trail Blazers, coming off of a successful 4-2 trip, overcame a sluggish start Tuesday night against San Antonio to win 117-110 at the Moda Center.

That the Blazers struggled at all with the rebuilding Spurs (6-9) could be viewed as a bit puzzling given how well Portland played on its recent trip. But that’s sort of how the NBA goes sometimes. The Blazers (10-4) had a sloppy night, but the bottom line is that they found a way to win and take over sole possession of first place in the Western Conference.

But they did it the hard way.

The Blazers came out lethargic to start the game and trailed 22-12 with 5:41 remaining in the first quarter. Then the Blazers got their act together enough to lead 30-29 at the end of the first quarter and 62-56 at halftime.

But any chance of pulling away in the third evaporated with eight turnovers committed that resulted in 15 points for the Spurs, who won the quarter, 33-31. That set the stage for a fourth quarter that saw the Spurs lead 106-100 with under five minutes remaining.

From that point on, the Blazers outscored San Antonio 17-4. Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons each hit deep threes, but arguably the most important play of the game came from Josh Hart. Following a Lillard miss, Hart got a steal at about midcourt and turned it into a dunk at the other end to give the Blazers a 115-110 lead with 1:21 to go.

Jerami Grant led the Blazers with 29 points and eight rebounds. Lillard scored 22 points with 11 assists. Simons had 23 points.

The Blazers shot 51.9% from the field and hit on 46.9% on their three-point shots. Simons made 5 of 10 threes and Grant hit on 6 of 8.

The Spurs received 31 points and 14 rebounds from center Jakob Poeltl. The Spurs shot 51.8% for the night but made just 9 of 29 threes (31%).

Jerami Grant

Portland Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant reacts after making a 3-point basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer) APAP

WHAT IT MEANS

If the Blazers (10-4) are to be taken seriously, they should rarely ever lose to a rebuilding team such as the Spurs, who have now lost seven of their last eight and were coming off of a 132-95 loss Monday night at Golden State.

NEXT UP

The Blazers host Brooklyn at 7 p.m. Thursday.

— Aaron Fentress | afentress@Oregonian.com | @AaronJFentress (Twitter), @AaronJFentress (Instagram), @AaronFentress (Facebook). Subscribe to Oregonian/OregonLive newsletters and podcasts



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