SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Portland point guard Damian Lillard refused to give up when all seemed lost, and nearly willed the Trail Blazers to an improbable win over the San Antonio Spurs.
DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points and San Antonio overcame a sluggish start and Lillard’s hot finish to beat Portland 113-110 yesterday to remain undefeated.
San Antonio is 3-0 for the eighth time in its 43-year history, but this outcome was in doubt until Lillard’s three-pointer from the right corner bounced in and out as time expired.
“We were on him,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He made shots. He drove it too easily, that’s for sure. We didn’t stay in front of him very well down the stretch, but he’s a great player. He put it on himself to just take it and attack the rim and he did and we didn’t stay in front of him very well.”
Lillard had 28 points, including 18 straight in the final four minutes, as Portland erased a 15-point deficit. The six-foot-three guard was limited to 10 points on three-for-16 shooting through three quarters before going six for 12 in the fourth.
“I’m not going to shy away because of that or try to go away and say, ‘Alright, it’s just not my night’,” Lillard said. “I’m going to empty it and I’m going to go out swinging.”