It was a by committee kind of night for the Trail Blazers on the offensive end.
Portland was without its leading scorer and floor general Damian Lillard Friday night against the San Antonio Spurs.
With Lillard out due to right hamstring tendinopathy, it was CJ McCollum’s scoring and playmaking that helped keep Portland in the game.
But it was the Blazers second unit with their scoring and aggressive play that made the difference in the second half.
In the final two minutes of the game, it was the game's stars of McCollum and DeMar DeRozan making tough buckets. Yet in the end, it was Robert Covington's steal that led to a Norman Powell run out to put the Blazers up one.
That Powell bucket ended up being the game-winning bucket after the Spurs had three chances and couldn't knock them down.
Portland defeats San Antonio, 107-106.
San Antonio outscored Portland in the paint 32-18 by halftime to help the Spurs take a 57-48 lead at the break.
After the Blazers ball movement became stagnant to end the first half, it was the opposite in the third quarter as the Blazers cut the lead to two at the end of the quarter.
The Blazers were in a 31-28 hole at the end of the first quarter, and it was the Spurs who dominated in the paint early and often.
San Antonio also forced the Blazers to hurry up their offense at times, which resulted in uncharacteristic turnovers for Portland.
DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs in scoring in the first half and continued his hot shooting for the entire game. DeRozan finished with 26 points and 10 assists.
Without Lillard’s 28.7 points per game, Norman Powell and CJ McCollum took it upon themselves to score inside and out. McCollum recorded a game-high 29 points.
The Blazers bench also picked up the offensive load. Whether it was Carmelo Anthony or Anfernee Simons, Portland’s bench was effective from the perimeter.
Simons was a big spark off the bench, especially late in the third quarter, after knocking down an open three and he ran back to block Derrick White's floater.
Simons brought the energy all night long.
He finished with 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-8 from three.
The Spurs found success in the paint against the Blazers, especially when Portland's second unit was on the floor. It was DeMar DeRozan who led San Antonio while working the midrange game.
The Blazers were aggressive on the offensive end, attacking the rim which resulted in San Antonio’s big man Jakob Poeltl picking up two quick fouls. But with Poetl heading to the bench early, Drew Eubanks came in and scored in bunches.
While averaging 4.8 points this season, Eubanks notched 11 in the first half.
Portland struggled on the glass, especially on the offensive end. Keldon Johnson and Poeltl gave San Antonio second chance opportunities and points.
Jusuf Nurkic and Norman Powell had a strong two-man game early:
Portland recorded just nine assists in the first half to San Antonio’s 17-first-half assists.
Next up: The Trail Blazers will wrap up their two-game road trip Sunday in Charlotte. The Blazers and Hornets will tip-off at 4:00p.m. PST on NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers.