Spurs-Trail Blazers Preview
By MATT BEARDMORE,
(AP) -- The Portland Trail Blazers had one of the best home records in the NBA last season.
It's been a different story for them at the Rose Garden in 2009-10.
The Trail Blazers look to avoid their third straight loss there Friday night, when they continue their three-game homestand against a San Antonio Spurs team without a road win.
Portland (2-3) went 34-7 at home in 2008-09 - the fourth-best mark in the league behind Cleveland, the Lakers and Boston - while never losing more than two straight at the Rose Garden.
Despite leading by as many as 12 points in the second quarter, the Trail Blazers dropped their second in a row at home Tuesday - 97-91 to Atlanta.
"Regardless of where you are, you've got to work," coach Nate McMillan told the Trail Blazers' official Web site. "I really felt our level of intensity needed to be better for pretty much all of the games."
Portland's last three-game slide at home was March 29-April 6, 2008.
The Trail Blazers had lost five straight at home - and 12 overall - to San Antonio, prior to their 100-99 victory on Oct. 31, 2008.
Spurs guard Michael Finley missed a shot as time expired and Portland won its first home game in this series since Jan. 24, 2005.
"When he missed the shot, I couldn't believe it. I was thinking overtime or something because it just didn't feel right," guard Brandon Roy said. "But I looked up and realized that we had finally beaten the Spurs."
The Trail Blazers won three of four against San Antonio last season - including both meetings at the Rose Garden - after losing 19 of the previous 20 matchups.
Roy averaged 23.0 points against the Spurs in 2008-09, scoring 26 in each of the victories.
Center Greg Oden, who leads the Trail Blazers with 9.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks, was injured for the first three matchups with San Antonio last season.
In his first career game against fellow first-overall pick Tim Duncan, Oden had eight points, eight boards and two blocks in a 95-83 victory on April 8 that snapped Portland's 11-game skid in San Antonio.
Duncan, averaging 21.4 points and 10.8 boards in 23 career games in Portland, had 15 and 13 in Thursday's 113-99 loss at Utah that dropped the Spurs (2-2) to 0-2 on the road.
San Antonio hasn't lost its first three road games since 1993-94.
The Spurs, who held their first three opponents this season to 96 points or fewer, allowed its most points in a loss since a 113-94 defeat at Seattle on Nov. 7, 2004.
"We've got a lot of work to do to become a good defensive team and Utah obviously took advantage of that tonight," coach Gregg Popovich said. "They are always an aggressive club and they do a great job of fighting for 48 minutes."
Tony Parker led San Antonio on Thursday with 21 points, four coming in the second half. He averaged 19.5 points and 7.5 assists at Portland in 2008-09.
Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points and a season-high 14 rebounds Tuesday, despite leaving Sunday's win at Oklahoma City with a bone contusion on his right knee.
Aldridge averaged 24.5 points and 6.0 rebounds as Portland swept its home games versus San Antonio last season for the first time since 1996-97.
The Trail Blazers are scoring 93.7 points per game on 39.9 percent shooting at the Rose Garden this season.
No Asterisks in this life, it's all about scoreboard - Ari Gold
Oh Happy Happy Joy Joy
NBA.com - Referee Assignments
Nov 6, 2009
San Antonio @ Portland--Joe Crawford, Mark Lindsay, Zach Zarba
So that's what happened to the lead singer from Paul Revere & The Raiders
In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.
We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
---Winston Churchill (1903)
The Spurs better get their heads outta their @$$...and start showing up on the road
I think he's going to be a star. And as time goes on, he'll be the face of the Spurs, I think.--- Coach Pop on Leonard
Blazers win big! More athleticism and more rebounding. I think Tony has trouble getting in the paint with Old Man River clogging it up. Spurs stand around perimeter and fire 3's all night.
Blazers - 107
Spurs - 93
If the Spurs dont get the job done on the boards, im probably going to have a pretty manbearpigmanbearpigmanbearpigmanbearpigty friday night. I dont expect the defense to be as slow as they were last night so im going with the homer decision and call it Spurs 95- blazers 91.
Also like to say whatup to my cousins and tia shannon out there in portland. keep yalls butts warm.
I have a GUT fellin that SPURS will win big freaking tonight....
I know POP and his staff were very disappointed in that Ugly loss to Utah and got on them. I say Spurs win big and Tony leads with 28 pts and Timmmmmaaaay will play a GREAT Game. Manu too. All Spurs will play their Arses off and come up with the Victory Yohoooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!
F%#$$% Blazers 88
GO SPURS GO
Go Spurs FO Go! Grade A for key pick ups this summer!
This game ended at the first half. I felt soooooooooooooo bad as I saw the Spurs powerless.... I fell asleep watching the first half knowing the output is going to be like that from the first minute.
I know they will get better, but they look aweful so far on the road.
what a kaos!!!
This Spurs team needs a lot of work to be par with other teams especially WESTERN teams.
Pop and his assistants have a lot of work to do.
LETS hope they get it going soon...This team is resilient and know no fear and nothing should stop them. Its just a matter of getting the rythem and CHEMISTRY going.
I sincerely hope it is not going to be so long before they all click, because it is frustrating as hell to see my Spurs lose like that....
Go Spurs Go
Go Spurs FO Go! Grade A for key pick ups this summer!
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