NBA Basketball Prediction: Portland Trail Blazers vs San Antonio Spurs
Friday, March 08, 2013
by Tomas Lopez
The San Antonio Spurs have shown no ill effects from the Tony Parker injury. They will try to remain perfect without their star point guard when they host the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. Since Parker was ruled out for four weeks with an ankle injury, the Spurs have won two games by 39 and 18 points, respectively. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili scored 18 points apiece in a 101-83 win over Chicago on Wednesday that improved San Antonio's home record to 25-3.
The Trail Blazers have somewhat recovered from a recent seven-game losing streak, but they began their three-game road trip with a 91-85 loss at Memphis on Wednesday. After scoring 122 points two nights earlier vs. Charlotte, Portland managed just 35 second-half points in the setback. Rookie Damian Lillard led six players in double figures with 20 points for the Blazers, who enter this one 3 1/2 games behind Utah, which holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Portland Trail Blazers at San Antonio Spurs
When: 8:30 PM ET, Friday, March 8, 2013
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet Northwest (Portland), Fox Sports Southwest (San Antonio)
Portland Trail Blazers (28-32): Portland had a 17-point lead midway through the third quarter against Memphis, flirting with its first three-game winning streak in two months. However, the Blazers went cold down the stretch. All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge finished 2-for-13 from the floor, missing his last six shots. The two baskets matched a season low for Aldridge, who was 2-for-11 in a loss at New Orleans on Feb. 13. Lillard had 29 points and Aldridge 22 in Portland's 98-90 win over San Antonio on Dec. 13 at the Rose Garden.
San Antonio Spurs (48-14): Ginobili did his best to account for Parker's absence Wednesday night. While every other Spur was limited to two or fewer assists, Ginobili had nine in 26 minutes off the bench. Even without its top playmaker, San Antonio shot 54.1 percent (40-for-74) from the field and completely dominated after the break, when it outscored the Bulls 54-31. Patty Mills contributed 13 points off the bench, finishing 3-for-3 from long range. The Spurs hold a 2 1/2-game lead over Oklahoma City in the race for the top spot in the West. Those teams meet Monday in San Antonio.
1. Spurs PG Gary Neal did not play against Chicago as he continues to deal with left foot issues. He had 27 points in a win at Portland on Nov. 10.
2. Lillard has scored over 20 points in a season-high four straight games, shooting 50 percent or better in each contest.
3. San Antonio PF Tim Duncan has recorded a season-high four straight double-doubles.
NBA Basketball Prediction: Spurs 108, Trail Blazers 96.
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