Lillard leads Blazers past Spurs 128-112 for 3rd straight

Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard (0) drives against San Antonio Spurs' Gorgui Dieng...
Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard (0) drives against San Antonio Spurs' Gorgui Dieng during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)(Darren Abate | AP)
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 7:45 PM PST
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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Damian Lillard had 37 points and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the San Antonio Spurs 128-112 on Wednesday night for their third straight win.

Anfernee Simons added 23 points for Portland, which has won five of six.

Keldon Johnson led the Spurs with 25 points, Doug McDermott added 14 and Keita Bates-Diop had 13.

San Antonio was seeking its fourth consecutive victory after losing 11 in a row.

Lillard also had eight assists and five rebounds. He was 14 for 23 from the floor, including 7 of 14 from 3-point territory. The star guard scored 22 points in the first half, the most the Spurs have allowed to an opponent this season.

San Antonio cut Portland’s lead to 85-78 with 4 1/2 minutes remaining in the third quarter on consecutive 3-pointers by Devin Vassell and Johnson. Vassell was fouled on his 3-pointer and completed a four-point play.

Lillard then hit successive 3s in a 30-second span to help the Blazers maintain control.

Portland shot 60.5% from the field, including 18 for 40 (45%) from 3-point range.

The Blazers closed the first quarter on a 27-15 run after the Spurs took their first lead at 13-12 with 7:23 remaining.

Bates-Diop had eight of San Antonio’s first 13 points in his return from a three-game absence. But the Spurs lost Zach Collins and Romeo Langford to injury Monday, while Jakob Poeltl and Blake Wesley also remained out.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: Lillard averaged 38 points in his previous three games and is averaging 34.4 in five games this month. … Not only was Blazers G Shaedon Sharpe whistled for traveling midway through the second quarter, official Kevin Scott mimicked Sharpe’s move before signaling the violation. … G Gary Payton II continued his rehabilitation from offseason core muscle surgery. Payton’s season debut is expected in the next couple of weeks as he has entered return-to-competition reconditioning.

Spurs: San Antonio is 0-17 when trailing by double digits this season. … Poeltl has missed seven straight games with a bruised right knee bone. … Collins and Langford both sprained their left ankles in San Antonio’s victory over Cleveland on Monday. … Spurs C Charles Bassey made his first start in 41 career games.

UP NEXT

Trail Blazers: At Dallas on Friday.

Spurs: Host Miami on Saturday.