Forbes leads Spurs in 114-83 win over shorthanded Blazers

Dec 2, 2021, 7:31 AM | Updated: 10:32 pm

San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson, right, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

(AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Bryn Forbes had 18 points off the bench and the San Antonio Spurs extended their winning streak to a season-high three games with a 114-83 victory over the shorthanded Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night.

Doug McDermott added 16 points and Dejounte Murray had 15 points and 13 assists for the Spurs.

The loss snapped a 10-game home winning streak for the Blazers. Portland was led by CJ McCollum and Norman Powell with 16 points each. Powell had missed the last two games with a bruised right quadriceps.

The Blazers were without All-Star guard Damian Lillard, who is out with lower abdominal tendinopathy. Portland announced on Wednesday that Lillard will miss 10 days before being re-evaluated.

“Obviously we had a break with Damian not playing tonight, but it happens all the time and you can’t feel sorry for anybody. But he would have made a difference,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

Anfernee Simons started in Lillard’s place but left in the first quarter after rolling his right ankle and did not return. The team said after the game it was an ankle sprain.

The Spurs led 86-70 going into the fourth but the Blazers were clawing back in it. They closed the gap to 87-75 on Ben McLemore’s 3-pointer with 8:33 to go, but San Antonio answered with a 12-0 run to pull away, and fans began streaming toward the exits.

Keldon Johnson and Jakob Poeltl finished with 14 points apiece for San Antonio.

McDermott, acquired by the Spurs in the offseason from Indiana, started against the Blazers after missing four games with right knee inflammation.

McDermott praised Forbes, who started his career with the Spurs before winning an NBA title with the Bucks last season. Forbes didn’t come into the game until late in the third quarter.

“He won a ring for a reason. He was a big part of that championship run,” McDermott said. “He’s got all the confidence in the world, so it’s a great weapon to have off the bench when you have a guy like that who can come in and change the game instantly.”

Lonnie Walker IV’s dunk gave the Spurs a 30-16 lead in the opening quarter. San Antonio pushed its lead to 44-34 after Johnson’s basket and free throw.

McCollum made a 3 for Portland in the final moments of the opening half, and San Antonio went into the break with a 68-47 lead.

The Spurs, who have the fewest 3-pointers in the NBA, made 11 in the opening half — including the first three baskets of the game. They had no 3-pointers in the third quarter and finished with 14.

Blazers first-year coach Chauncey Billups said 23 games into the season, he was concerned about effort.

“My biggest concern, I think, at the moment, is I want us to compete harder, man. I want us to compete harder,” he said. “I want us to be competitive in every game. And I don’t feel like every night we do that. We don’t.”

IMPACT

Forbes scored his 18 points in just 15:18 on the court — coming in for the first time with 3:18 left in the third quarter. He was 7 of 9 from the floor and had three 3-pointers.

TIP-INS

Spurs: San Antonio (7-13) improved to 3-7 on the road. … It was the first of a three-game trip. … The Spurs took the lead in the all-time series, 89-88.

Trail Blazers: The Blazers (11-12) have been propped up by their home record. They are 1-10 on the road this season. … Portland’s 10-game winning streak at home was the team’s longest since 2009. … The Blazers play the Spurs three more times this season. … The Blazers were coming off a 110-92 victory over Detroit on Tuesday, which snapped a three-game losing streak.

UP NEXT

The Spurs visit the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

The Trail Blazers host the Boston Celtics on Saturday.

___

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Forbes leads Spurs in 114-83 win over shorthanded Blazers