Murray has 28 points, Spurs rout Trail Blazers 133-96

Mar 23, 2022, 9:33 AM | Updated: 10:30 pm
Portland Trail Blazers guard Kris Dunn, left, and San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray go after ...

Portland Trail Blazers guard Kris Dunn, left, and San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray go after a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, March 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

(AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Dejounte Murray had 28 points before sitting for the final quarter and the San Antonio Spurs routed the Portland Trail Blazers 133-96 on Wednesday night.

Keldon Johnson added 26 points for the Spurs, who are still in the mix for a play-in spot in the Western Conference with three wins in their last five games.

The Spurs are 11th in the West, 1 1/2 games behind New Orleans for the final play-in position. They finished with 19 3-pointers, matching their season high and just one shy of the franchise record.

“We didn’t want to let them linger around so we took that and ran with it.” said Devin Vassell, who finished with 16 points for San Antonio. “If you let a team like that start coming back and feeling good, it’s a dogfight.”

Ben McLemore had 23 points off the bench for the Trail Blazers. Portland has lost 10 of its last 13 games, but was coming off a victory Monday night at Detroit.

Former Spur Drew Eubanks finished with a career-high 20 points against his old team.

The Blazers are 1 1/2 games behind San Antonio and in the midst of a rebuild. Of the team’s starters at the beginning of the season, two are injured (Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic) and three — including Lillard’s longtime backcourt partner CJ McCollum — were traded away before the February deadline. Lillard’s replacement, Anfernee Simons, is also nursing an injury.

“Wins are tough in the NBA. You take them any way you can get them but this obviously wasn’t a fair fight,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “They’ve got a lot of guys out but we still played good basketball. “

San Antonio led 81-53 at the break. It was the most first-half points for the team this season. The Spurs had 13 3-pointers in the half, a new franchise record.

Murray was 7 of 7 from the floor and led all scorers with 20 first-half points. He finished with seven of the Spurs’ 34 assists. Jakob Poeltl had a career-high six blocks.

“I don’t think we prepared for the battle that was going to happen,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said. “Our guys looked tired, man. They looked really tired to be honest with you.”

San Antonio was without Lonnie Walker IV for the second straight game because of back spasms. The Spurs were coming off of a 110-108 victory Sunday over Golden State, which was playing without injured star Stephen Curry.

TIP-INS

Spurs: Popovich was complimentary toward Eubanks, who started his career with the Spurs but has played for the Blazers on a series of 10-day contracts since early February. “He’s done a lot of work the past few years and to see him get the opportunity is fantastic. He’s great teammate. Nobody works harder,” Popovich said.

Trail Blazers: Justise Winslow left the game after just seven minutes with left calf tightness. … Portland dropped the first of the four-game series with the Spurs back in early December. The teams play twice more, on April 1 and 3 in San Antonio. … It was the first of a five-game homestand.

UP NEXT

Spurs: At San Antonio on Saturday.

Trail Blazers: Hosts Houston Friday and Saturday.

___

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Murray has 28 points, Spurs rout Trail Blazers 133-96