Aldridge, Roy power Blazers past SpursNov 1, 2008 - 6:20 AM By Daniel Cochran PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- If the Portland Trail Blazers were supposed to be inept without Greg Oden, no one told Brandon Roy.
Roy and the Blazers, who went winless in their first three games last season, held off a fourth-quarter surge by the San Antonio Spurs to post a 100-99 win on Friday.
Michael Finley had a chance to win the game for the Spurs but missed a short jumper as time ran out.
"It's a shot that we'd take every day of the week," San Antonio forward Tim Duncan said. "I give a lot of credit to the Blazers - those guys played great."
"We got a great shot (at the end)," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Many times in that situation when the defense can't get set, you get a much better shot than when you try to be smart. You would die to get that shot to win the game, but sometimes they don't go in."
Roy was thrilled.
"We beat a really good team in San Antonio. We needed this win. We stepped up," Roy said. "We beat one of the best teams in the NBA.
"Tonight was a great win, we haven't beaten the Spurs in years. We're glad to be able to run with a team like that for four quarters."
The Blazers did not surrender their halftime lead until three minutes remained in the fourth quarter, when the Spurs tied the game at 93-93, but held off San Antonio to avoid going 0-2 for the second straight season.
San Antonio had a brief lead in the final minutes, but Roy knocked down consecutive free throws to put Portland ahead for good. Roy, who led the Blazers in scoring last season, had 26 points and seven assists.
LaMarcus Aldridge helped to compensate for the lack of Oden's physical presence, scoring 23 points, including a jumper with 34.5 seconds left that proved to be the winning points for Portland.
"LaMarcus did a great job carrying the load for us," Roy said.
The Blazers' defense was strong, accumulating 37 rebounds and 11 steals. Joel Przybilla, who shared center with Aldridge in place of Oden, collected seven rebounds, with Spaniard Rudy Fernandez grabbing another eight.
"We're still growing, but nobody panicked after Tuesday's game," Roy said of the loss to the Lakers and the loss of Oden to a foot injury for two to four weeks.
Channing Frye, also coming off the bench, netted 10 points in 14 minutes.
"They had a good look at the end with Finley's shot and they had a shot at it but, when you play as hard as we did sometimes you make your own break," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "We really took care of the ball tonight. Only six turnovers is one of the better performances since I've been here in terms as taking care of the ball."
Portland committed just two turnovers while collecting nine offensive rebounds in the first half but faltered in the fourth quarter.
Duncan led the Spurs in scoring with 27 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Tony Parker with 24 and 11 assists.
"Good character was shown by the team," Duncan said. "It was a good fight all the way to the end. If we don't put ourselves in that hole, maybe we don't have that situation down the stretch."
Fernandez's regular-season debut in Portland was met with "Rudy! Rudy!" chants, and he did not disappoint. Fellow rookie Nicolas Batum, who saw just three minutes in Portland's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, collected 12 points in 22 minutes.
The Spurs, who outshot the Blazers in every percentage category, turned the ball over 14 times and collected just five offensive rebounds. San Antonio has not gone 0-2 to start the season since 1996 and is clearly missing the presence of Manu Ginobili, who will be out until at least December with a left ankle injury.
Spurs starters Matt Bonner and Bruce Bowen were held scoreless in the first half, as a majority of San Antonio's offensive production came from Duncan and Parker.
SAN ANTONIO 99
PORTLAND 100 FINAL
Nov 1 1:13 AM
SAN ANTONIO 70
PORTLAND 78 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 1 12:30 AM
SAN ANTONIO 45
PORTLAND 51 HALFTIME
Oct 31 11:46 PM
SAN ANTONIO 22
PORTLAND 21 END, 1ST QTR
Oct 31 11:10 PM
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