Batum's triple-double paces Blazers past Spurs
Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Nicolas Batum recorded his third career triple-double with 11 points, 11 assists and 12 rebounds in the Trail Blazers' 115-105 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday.
Batum had just six points late in the contest but sank a pair of clutch free throws with nine seconds left to put Portland up by seven. After Tim Duncan missed a 3-pointer on the other end, Batum nailed a deep 3 as time expired to secure the triple-double.
Batum was just over midcourt when he took the shot and apologized afterward for gunning for the triple-double.
"I know that's a bad thing to do," said Batum. "I don't want to disrespect this team."
Damian Lillard led all scorers with 25 points to go with seven rebounds and seven assists while LeMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews contributed 24 and 20 points, respectively. Aldridge hit 11-of-17 from the floor for Portland, which won its second straight following an opening night loss in Phoenix.
Duncan returned to the San Antonio lineup after missing Friday's win over the Lakers with a chest contusion and scored 24 points to lead the Spurs. Marco Belinelli had 19 points off the bench and Tony Parker tallied 17 points and nine assists.
"We could have done better in the first half," said Parker. "We still have to work on some stuff."
Portland never trailed by more than two and went up by 13 points on a Matthews' triple at the 6:39 mark of the third, but the Spurs put a scare into the home team late in the action.
The Spurs trailed 104-95 with 2:17 left in the fourth but went on a mini-run on a Boris Diaw reverse layup and Belinelli 3. Lillard knocked down free throws on the other end, but Duncan came down and scored on a hook shot with 46 seconds left for a four-point margin.
Matthews threw down an emphatic jam after Batum deflected a rebound from Lillard's 3-point try with 21 seconds left, but Belinelli responded with another triple on the ensuing inbounds. Lillard once again drew a foul and made two from the line, and Manu Ginobili's late 3-pointer was off the mark.
Despite the mostly one-sided affair, the Spurs got a spark late in the first period when Ginobili beat the buzzer with a leaning jumper to cut Portland's lead to 21-19.
Not to be outdone, Aldridge drained a jump-shot of his own less than a second before halftime.
Portland's starters outscored their counterparts, 92-50 ... The Blazers shot 17-of-19 from the free throw line, while the Spurs made just 5-for-8 ... Diaw shot 6-of-7 for 14 points ... The Spurs visit Denver on Tuesday to wrap up a three-game road trip. Portland hosts the Rockets on Tuesday.
11/03 01:40:31 ET