Spurs' depth the key to 5th win

SAN ANTONIO • Six players scored in double figures for the San Antonio Spurs in their 93-80 National Basketball Association win against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday. Former Trail Blazers' forward LaMarcus Aldridge - just was not one of them.

Aldridge scored just six points - his lowest output since joining the Spurs - but San Antonio have so many weapons they really did not need him, at least not this time.

Forward Kawhi Leonard scored 19 points and veteran guards Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker hit key shots down the stretch as the Spurs won for the fifth straight game.

The Spurs (8-2) led for all but two minutes in the first quarter. But the game went down to the final minutes, when the Trail Blazers got to within 81-78 on a three-pointer by forward Noah Vonleh with 3min 48sec to play. San Antonio then outscored Portland 12-2 down the stretch.

Ginobili added 17 points for the Spurs, including nine straight in the final quarter, while forward Boris Diaw and guard Danny Green scored 12 and Parker and forward Tim Duncan scored 10 apiece.

"We kept them to 80 points and that gave us some air," Ginobili said.

"If we (had) played like this in another game, we might have lost by 20. It's good that our defence was able to hold us."

The Spurs led 36-28 at half-time despite shooting only 30 per cent prior to the break while the Trail Blazers shot 31 per cent. It was the lowest first-half output for either team this season and Portland's 28 points were just four points more than its franchise low.

Portland (4-8) got a game-high 27 points from guard Damian Lillard. Forward Al-Farouq Aminu added 17 points and guard C.J. McCollum had 15 points. It was the sixth straight loss for Portland.

"I'm not worried about us getting used to losing - we just have to learn to win," Lillard said.

"We do all these things to give ourselves a chance but when it's winning time the other teams are doing a better job."

San Antonio's bench outscored the Portland reserves 36-11 with 29 of those coming from Ginobili and Diaw.

"Those two guys generated a lot of offence for us," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

"Tony did a good job defensively setting the tone and Boris and Manu were our offensive sparks."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 18, 2015, with the headline 'Spurs' depth the key to 5th win'. Print Edition | Subscribe