Published November 20, 2014
The San Antonio Spurs will resume their four-game road trip Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden.
After having a four-game winning streak to start the season cut short in a loss against the Los Angeles Clippers, the Spurs rebounded with Friday's 97-86 triumph at Sacramento behind future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan's 23 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks.
Duncan has posted double-doubles in four of six games this season.
Patty Mills registered 18 points off the bench for the Spurs, who are 5-1 on the season and opened the 2010-11 campaign with a sizzling 13-1 mark.
"He was real big; he helped us get this win," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Mills. "We needed points from other players and Patty got it done for us."
Mills led a San Antonio bench that outscored Sacramento's, 47-24. The Spurs shot 48.6 percent from the field and overcame 20 turnovers.
San Antonio will close out the road trip (1-1) against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday at Staples Center.
Meanwhile, the Trail Blazers looked awful in the first half Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Portland trailed by 21 at home at halftime and never recovered.
Sure, the Blazers won the third quarter by 15, but Los Angeles won the final frame by seven to win going away.
"The second half was what we need to do every time we're on the court," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said.
Portland ranks 26th in the NBA in points allowed and have surrendered over 100 points in four of its five games. They rank in the bottom-half on the league in blocks and steals.
Basically, not much is going right for the Trail Blazers on the defensive side of the ball.
The starters are scoring plenty. LaMarcus Aldridge, rookie star in the making Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum are all averaging over 16.5 ppg, but the bench isn't producing much. Rookie Meyers Leonard leads the way off the pine for the Blazers with a sterling 4.4 ppg. average.
The Trail Blazers have gone 10-4 in the last 14 meetings with the Spurs. San Antonio has lost seven in a row in the Rose City and hasn't won at Portland since April of 2008.
In two games against the Spurs last season, Aldridge averaged 25.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.0 block.