Texas

Lillard scored 37 as the Blazers beat Tottenham Hotspur 147–127 to stop the drift.

PORTLAND, Oregon. – Damian Lillard had 37 points and 12 assists as the Portland Trail Blazers beat the San Antonio Spurs 147-127 on Monday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

Yusuf Nurkic added 25 points and 11 rebounds to the struggling Blazers, who had lost eight of their previous 10 games.

Keldon Johnson scored 20 points for the Spurs, who have lost seven of their last eight games and are second to last in the Western Conference standings, just above the Houston Rockets.

A scoring first half ended at 74. The Blazers began to bounce back late in the third quarter when Lillard hit a 3-pointer to give them a 103–95 lead.

Rookie Schaedon Sharpe added 3 and then dunked to give the Blazers a 108-97 lead. Lillard made 3 more from under the Portland pinwheel logo on center court.

“We parted ways in the third quarter. We played like we should play in most NBA games, split off from each other, and then obviously ended the game. It was a great offensive game and the defense got stronger in the second half,” Lillard said. “Right now we can’t complain about how we get them. We won the game.”

Portland led by 24 points in the fourth quarter to win.

The Blazers bounced back from a loss to the Lakers on Sunday night when they squandered a 25-point lead at halftime in a 121–112 loss.

Portland Coach Chauncey Billups spoke to the team ahead of the Spurs game. Without revealing the details of the chat, he said he used the quote: “Unhappiness has a way of presenting a person to himself.”

After that, he praised the team for bouncing back.

“What we did tonight is very, very difficult to do. In my experience, just being around, losing a game like we lost last night, it usually has a lasting effect on you,” Billups said. “And I’m really proud of my guys for being able to put that aside and just move on and just worry about the Spurs. This is really very difficult to do. I’m really proud of my guys for having the mental toughness to do it.”

The Blazers were leading 40–38 after the first quarter. Tre Jones’ idle driving saw the Spurs go 57–53. But Lillard was fouled on a 3-point attempt just over a minute before halftime and hit everyone to give the Blazers a 72–67 lead.

“We score enough points, we don’t get enough stops. Much credit goes to Damian today. He was great. He got the better of us, great player. He is who he is and we couldn’t stop him,” said Tottenham manager Gregg Popovich.

TIP-INS

Spurs: This was the first trip of three games. Next come teams from Los Angeles. … The Spurs had eight players in double figures. … Jeremy Sochan finished with 18 points.

Trail Blazers: The Blazers won their first two games against the Spurs earlier this season. … Portland is basically healthy, with only Gary Payton II playing a limited number of minutes. … Anferni Simons finished with 26 points. … Portland’s record for points in a game is 156.

MOVING UP

Lillard had seven 3-pointers to put him in seventh place in league history with 2,283 points.

Lillard now has 42 career games in which he scored 30 or more points and gave 10 or more assists.

NEXT

Spurs: Visit the Lakers on Wednesday.

Trail Blazers: Jazz on a Wednesday.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports.

Copyright 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.

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