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Trail Blazers fall to Spurs in San Antonio

04/24/12
  1. Written by: KevinHudson


    The Portland Trail Blazers fell behind early and never led Monday at the AT&T Center, falling 124-89 to the San Antonio Spurs.

    San Antonio (48-16) led 8-0 to open the contest and by 13 points, 31-18, after the first quarter, then expanded the lead to 22 points in the second period and 27 points in the third period. The Spurs lead ballooned to 37 points in the final stanza before they settled for the final margin.

    "You have to give them (the Spurs) credit. They played at a high level tonight," said Portland coach Kaleb Canales. "We gave up three thirty point quarters and one of our goals was not to do that. We've got to get better defensively."

    Portland (28-37) clinched the No. 11 position in the NBA draft lottery with the loss, combined with the Milwaukee Bucks 92-86 win over the Toronto Raptors. Meanwhile, San Antonio clinched the No. 1 seed and home-court advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs with the win.

    Wesley Matthews led the Trail Blazers with a game-high 24 points on 9-of-24 shooting, followed by JJ Hickson's 14 point, 10 rebound double-double.

    "I think that team was really that good," Hickson said of the Spurs. "It’s not just us, they play great defense and they share the ball. Every time you make a mistake on defense they capitalize on it and they score. They make you pay."

    Raymond Felton returned to action for Portland in the game and recorded 13 points on 5-of-16 shooting to go with a game-high seven assists.

    Tim Duncan and Danny Green led San Antonio with 18 points each, Duncan adding a team-high eight rebounds as six Spurs scored in double figures.

    San Antonio shot a combined 59.3 percent from the field and tallied 34 assists on 48 made baskets while outrebounding the Trail Blazers 47-38.

    "I thought they did a good job of sharing the basketball. Any time you get 34 assists, that’s a big number," Canales said. "Our first line of defense is our transition defense and we gave up 31 points in transition. It didn’t look pretty and we didn’t pay attention to detail."

    Portland finishes out its regular-season schedule against the Jazz, 5 p.m., Thursday, in Utah. The game can be seen locally on Comcast SportsNet (Comcast channel 37). 750 AM The Game and NBA Audio League Pass will have the play-by-play call.

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