SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio built a 16-point lead in the third quarter against a Trail Blazers team without Damian Lillard, but faltered down the stretch and squandered the opportunity in a 107-106 loss.
Seven guys scored eight or more points for San Antonio, but poor shooting and seven turnovers in the fourth quarter doomed the Spurs.
PHOTOS: Spurs fall to Trail Blazers 107-106
CJ McCollum opened the fourth by completing Portland's 16-point comeback and resetting the game at 85. They took a lead briefly before Jakob Poeltl bailed out a possession late with a shot just inside the paint.
Rudy Gay drove in for a floater, then Patty Mills drove and kicked to Lonnie Walker IV for a triple to make it a 7-0 run.
McCollum drove in and tried another lefty layup, but Poeltl sent it back. Portland hit a three and cut the deficit to a deuce. Robert Covington shot a three right over Gay to put Portland back in front.
Lonnie ran pick and roll to the right side of the paint, then whipped it to the left wing for a three that DJ swished.
Poeltl beasted inside on defense, and Murray got his tenth board to secure a triple double. San Antonio held a 95-93 lead with six minutes left.
DeMar turned it over for an easy dunk the other way, and Nurkic finally scored in the paint for the tenth lead change of the game. DeRozan scored two close buckets to put the Spurs up 99-97 with 3:34 left.
Portland answered, but DeMar drove in for another late make. McCollum tied it at 101, but Derrick White knocked down a clutch triple to put the Spurs up by that many.
Dejounte got called for traveling, and Norman Powell scored. DeMar hit again, but the Blazers took a 107-106 lead after finishing a transition break on the Spurs' seventh turnover of the final period. San Antonio called timeout to draw up a game-winner with 23 seconds left.
The Spurs had several looks at it. DeRozan missed the first pull-up jumper, but Poeltl tapped it out to White. White drove and kicked to Rudy Gay, who missed an open three. Poeltl got that miss as well, missed the desperation heave, and didn't get the foul call he wanted.
San Antonio fell 107-106, another disappointing loss at home.
Portland got the first bucket, but the Spurs went on a 9-0 run to go up 16 and force a timeout.
DeMar pulled up from 19 feet and swished it, then kicked to Dejounte for three. Murray ran pick and roll and dished to Poeltl for two easy buckets in close. All the while, San Antonio's defense held the Blazers to tough jumpers.
CJ McCollum assisted on a three, then hit a jumper to cut the deficit back to 11. DeRozan missed a shot out of the timeout, but Poeltl put it back to get into double figures.
McCollum cut it to nine, but Keldon Johnson tipped in a miss. After a long possession with a lot of movement, White dribbled around a screen by Poeltl and hit him for a rolling layup through a foul. He even hit the free throw.
Poeltl set a screen for DeRozan, who swished from the elbow. Next time down they ran the same play, and Poeltl floated it in from inside the free throw line.
McCollum and Melo keyed a 7-0 run by Portland as they cut it to eight. Patty got knocked to the ground defensively and the Blazers drilled a three. McCollum pushed in transition for a driving and-1 to bring a 16-point lead all the way down to four.
DeMar fouled Enes Kanter hard after an offensive board, leading to words and double technical fouls. Drew Eubanks was there to make sure nothing escalated with his team's superstar.
The next trip down, DeRozan passed to Eubanks for a jam right past Kanter. He got another thunderous dunk on a putback, but by the start of the fourth San Antonio led just 85-83.
Portland continued a 9-0 run to start the second, taking a 35-33 lead before Jakob Poeltl tied the game on a finger roll at the rim.
Dejounte Murray dribbled in close for a jumper, made a nice pass on a layup that was missed, then drove in transition for free throws to tie it again at 38. Melo answered.
Rudy Gay made an extra pass to Derrick in the corner for three. He missed, but Poeltl cleaned it up. Gay isolated on a big man, drove, and kicked to White again for three.
Portland made an attempt at a defensive rebound that put the ball in their own basket. Melo posted up Keldon and drove to the basket, but Gay came in for a block.
White drove in transition, hesitated at the arc, and drove all the way in for a herky-jerky layup. Eubanks hit a rare jumper then drew an offensive foul on Nurkic in the post.
Rudy Gay knocked down a three off a feed from DeRozan, and Eubanks swatted a layup attempt. DeMar scored off an inbound, putting the Spurs up 57-48 at the break.
San Antonio got off to a rough start, and after almost three minutes Jakob Poeltl had as many fouls (2) as the Spurs had points. Drew Eubanks came in and made instant impact on both ends.
He got an offensive board that led to a three from Derrick White, then grabbed a steal leading to transition points for Keldon Johnson. Dejounte Murray crossed over for a mid-range jumper, then when Johnson missed a dunk, Murray grabbed the board and found Eubanks for a successful slam.
Eubanks got a twisting post scoop for an and-1, then finished a jump hook in the post as well.
Johnson dunked in transition, prompting a technical foul for Portland's Terry Stotts.
DeMar DeRozan hit the free throw and a few buckets from the floor as well. He posted up, spun to the baseline, and drew free throws to put San Antonio up 25-17. on the other end, he blocked Enes Kanter right under the basket.
Keldon stole an inbound pass, and on the next possession he drove all the way in for a simple layup to put the Spurs up 10. Portland answered, but Lonnie Walker IV drove in for a strong, silky layup.
Eubanks finished another hammer dunk on a feed from DeRozan, firing up himself and everyone else.
Carmelo Anthony crossed over and hit an off-balance jumper, making it 31-28 after a quarter.
San Antonio Spurs. vs. Portland Trail Blazers
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m., San Antonio
All-time series record: Spurs lead 88-86
Last season: Blazers won series 2-1
Season series: Spurs lead 1-0
Last meeting: Spurs won 125-104, January 18, 2021
Trail Blazer's last game: Lost vs. Celtics, 116-115
Spurs' last game: Lost vs. Raptors, 117-112
Trail Blazer's last 10 games/streak: 5-5, lost 2
Spurs' last 10 games/streak: 3-7, lost 1
Trail Blazer's injury/inactive report: Damian Lillard, OUT (hamstring); Zach Collins, OUT (ankle).
Spurs' injury/inactive report: Trey Lyles, OUT (ankle); Gorgui Dieng, OUT (shoulder).
Spurs fall to shorthanded Raptors 117-112, drop below .500 again
The San Antonio Spurs couldn't take care of business against a depleted Toronto Raptors team, falling 117-112 in one of the few easy-looking games remaining on their schedule.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said that his team didn't play that well, got beaten in a number of areas including physicality, transition, second-chance points, but never stopped competing in the game.
"Considering all that, I thought their effort was great just hanging in the game," he said before praising Toronto's lineup that didn't have much star power but had big, strong dudes. "They beasted us in several ways, so that big lineup worked well for them."
Derrick White led the way with 25 points for the Spurs, hitting six triples. Patty Mills had 23 points and five makes from deep, as San Antonio made 17-40 from long range in the loss.