----- LaMarcus Aldridge scores 28 points and pulled down eight rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Portland Trail Blazers Saturday night at AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX.
Damian Lillard with a heroic effort, but it wasn't enough as the San Antonio Spurs topped the Portland Trail Blazers 116-105 sending the Blazers to their third-straight loss keeping their magic number at one for home court advantage in the first round the the NBA Playoffs.
After missing Thursday's game at Houston with a sprained ankle, Lillard was back in the lineup on Saturday night scoring 33 points on 11-for-12 shooting including 6-for-12 from three-point range showing no ill-effects from his injured ankle.
Lillard had plenty of help from his teammates with Evan Turner scoring 18 points and dishing out four assists on 8-for-12 shooting, CJ McCollum added 17 points, and Jusuf Nurkic recorded a double-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and three blocked shots.
San Antonio won this game in the second half when they outscored Portland 62-49. The key stretch came in the fourth quarter with 6:52 remaining. Manu Ginobili connected on back-to-back threes and a driving layup to score eight quick points pushing their lead to 12 at 101-89 essentially ending the game. Ginobili scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half.
The Spurs (46-34) snapped a two-game losing streak. They are tied with Oklahoma City and New Orleans for fifth in the Western Conference, a half-game back of idle Utah.
Portland (48-32) needs a win either at Denver on Monday or at home against Utah in their season finale Wednesday at Moda Center to secure home court advantage in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.
NEXT UP- The Trail Blazers will travel to Denver to meet the Nuggets. The game is scheduled to tip off at 6:00 PM.
Chad's Take- At this point, all that matters is securing home court advantage regardless of seed.