SAN ANTONIO —
The Spurs dominated the first half, survived a rough third quarter, and put the shorthanded Blazers away late with an unexpected explosion from Bryn Forbes en route to a 114-83 victory.
San Antonio built a 26-point lead in the second quarter as they shot an out of character 11-23 from deep in the first half, along with 10 assists from Dejounte Murray. A scoring lull came to start the second half, and after almost six minutes without a made basket, Popovich put Forbes in the game for the first time. He immediately answered with a bucket, and then absolutely went off.
He played 15 minutes, mostly in the closing stages, and shot 7-9 from the floor. His three makes from beyond the arc were the only ones the Spurs made in the second half.
Portland was able to shave their deficit down to a dozen, but Forbes and the Spurs never let them closer than that and closed on a 27-8 run. All five starters joined Forbes in double-figure scoring.
Derrick White opened the scoring for San Antonio on a confident catch and shoot three from deep. At shootaround, he had spoken about getting into a bit of a groove after two solid games in a row.
Doug McDermott marked his return after a four-game absence with a pair of catch-and-shoot triples to give San Antonio a 9-2 lead.
Portland answered with an 8-2 run of their own until Dejounte Murray knocked down another make from deep. He found Jakob Poeltl on the roll for a contested make at the rim, then Murray drove in for a layup of his own to make it 18-12.
Thad Young came off the bench as the first backup center of the game, and almost immediately he stole a pass, drove in transition and kicked to Lonnie Walker IV for a wide-open three. Another Thad steal resulted in another quality shot for Walker, this time an emphatic jam.
White found Young in pick and roll with a nice bounce pass for a layup, and Young later put a miss back in.
San Antonio led 32-22 after shooting 6-12 from deep in the first quarter.
San Antonio's three-point barrage continued, thanks to a combination of hapless defense by Portland and aggressive but smart shot selection by the Spurs. Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Keldon Johnson and Doug McDermott all went into halftime with multiple made triples.
The Spurs feasted, both from deep and right at the rim against a notoriously porous Blazers squad.
Keldon showed off some impressive coordination after driving for a crazy and-1 layup, tumbling backwards, and popping up like a professional breakdancer.
The Spurs flat-out dominated the entire first half, building a 24-point advantage and never letting Portland in front. The Spurs hit 11-23 from deep, and Dejounte dropped 10 dimes before the Spurs took a 68-47 lead into the visitor's locker room.
The second half started with a bit more back and forth than the first, then San Antonio's offense stalled out in a big way. Jakob Poeltl hit a floater with 8:11 left in the quarter, and the Spurs went over 5 minutes without making a basket.
Still, they led by 16 before Bryn Forbes entered the game for the first time and quickly ended that scoring drought. The Blazers were able to shave 10 points off their deficit, so it's a good thing the Spurs had gone up by 26 before that all started.
Pop threw in Keita Bates-Diop for the first time as well, and the Spurs closed the third strong to make it 84-65 heading to the fourth. They mustered just 16 points in the period, but held Portland to 18.
Portland started the final period with a quick 10-3 run, trimming their deficit to 12 and forcing Pop to call time.
Keldon Johnson got a few good looks at the rim, but missed both. Jakob Poeltl answered at the other end with forceful defense in close.
Forbes pulled up for a mid-range deuce that he hit, and on the next play Doug McDermott drove baseline and found Poeltl for a pop-a-shot in the paint. a few moments later Dejounte jumped a passing lane, slowed down his transition drive, scooped a pass to Forbes for San Antonio's first three of the second half, giving San Antonio a 19-point lead with 6 minutes left.
A minute later, Forbes drilled the team's second made three of the half and put the Spurs back up by 24. With another make by Forbes and a pair of steals and layups by Tre Jones and Dejounte respectively, the Spurs took a 30-point advantage and then brought in Drew Eubanks and Jock Landale for the first time.
The San Antonio Spurs (6-13) will visit the Portland Trail Blazers (11-11) tonight as the Spurs will look to build on their two-game winning streak.
In the Spurs' previous game, Derrick White had 24 points and five assists as San Antonio Spurs beat the Washington Wizards 116-99 for their first winning streak of the season.
Dejounte Murray had 22 points for San Antonio.
Here are five things to watch for in tonight's game:
1. The Spurs are on a four-game road losing streak.
2. Sharing the ball. The Spurs have three-consecutive games with more assists than their opponent.
3. The Blazers have won 10-straight games at home and will be without guard Damian Lillard due to injury.
4. Sharing the ball of late. The Spurs have two-consecutive games with more assists than their opponent.
5. Keep an eye on the end of the third on the road. The Spurs are 2-0 on the road this season when heading into the final frame.
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