Spurs show Trail Blazers how to close the dealMar 7, 2007 - 7:51 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- The Portland Trail Blazers led for most of the game but Manu Ginobili and Michael Finley put the San Antonio Spurs in front when it counted.
Ginobili and Finley caught fire in the fourth quarter and the Spurs posted their 10th straight win with a 99-94 victory over the Trail Blazers.
Portland entered the fourth quarter with a 74-65 lead and were up, 92-85, with 2:13 to play after a reverse layup by Jarrett Jack. It was all Spurs from there as they went on to post their eighth straight win over the Blazers.
"The Blazers were great. They were aggressive, shared the basketball," San Antonio coach Greg Popovich said. "You could make a case that they deserved to win. The one thing we did well is that we hung tough. We kept playing and playing. At the end, we knocked down shots. That's what won the game for us."
Ginobili scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and started a 12-0 run with consecutive 3-pointers to make it 92-91 with 1:37 remaining. Beno Udrih and Finley hit 3-pointers to cap the spurt.
"Our bench is very important every night but we really came up big tonight," Ginobili said. "Those threes were obviously huge down the stretch and that's what got us over the top. Portland played very well but we were able to stick around long enough to be able to be put in the position to come out with a win and we were able to do that."
"Beno is a good shooter and he's getting the message that we want him to let it fly," Popovich said. "It's like getting another player."
Udrih scored six of his eight points in the fourth quarter and his shot from the arc with 1:03 to go gave San Antonio a 94-92 lead, its first since it was 1-0.
Ginobili, Finley and Udrih all had strong games off the bench for the Spurs and were on the court when it counted. The trio combined for 28 of San Antonio's 34 fourth-quarter points.
"Down the stretch Manu was incredible, both on offense and defense," Popovich said. "The bench was great. Just making those shots got us over the hump."
Tim Duncan scored 24 points and Finley had 20 for the Spurs, who had not won 10 straight games since winning 11 in a row at the end of the 2003-04 season.
""We just found a way to get it done. The bench was great," Duncan said. "Finley is shooting the ball great and his confidence is up. Manu is a starter coming off the bench. Beno came in and hit some big big shots."
Rookie Brandon Roy scored 19 points and Zach Randolph had 14 for Portland, which has lost four of its last five games.
"They played like champs down the stretch," Roy said. "They didn't miss a shot those last few minutes and they picked it up in the fourth. I'm going to learn from this game."
SAN ANTONIO 99
PORTLAND 94 FINAL
Mar 7 12:24 AM
SAN ANTONIO 65
PORTLAND 74 END, 3RD QTR
Mar 6 11:48 PM
SAN ANTONIO 47
PORTLAND 54 HALFTIME
Mar 6 11:07 PM
SAN ANTONIO 22
PORTLAND 29 END, 1ST QTR
Mar 6 10:33 PM
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