SAN ANTONIO (AP) – DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points and the San Antonio Spurs overcame a sluggish start and beat the Portland Trail Blazers 113-110 Monday night to remain undefeated.
Portland point guard Damian Lillard had 28 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter. Lillard’s 3-pointer from the right corner bounced in and out as time expired.
Derrick White scored 21 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 and Bryn Forbes 14 as the Spurs capped a three-game homestand to open the season.
CJ McCollum added 27 points for the Blazers (2-2).
The Spurs seemed poised for a comfortable win after narrow victories against New York and Washington, but nearly let the game get away by closing out the contest as sloppily as they opened.
Portland went on an 18-2 run, starting midway through the fourth quarter, that was capped by a pair of 3s by Lillard, closing within 107-104 with 1:57 remaining. A dunk by Lillard cut the margin to a point, 109-108, with 1:10 left. Lillard and Anthony Tolliver missed consecutive 3-point attempts with the Blazers trailing 113-100. DeRozan missed a pair of free throws, setting up Lillard’s final shot.
San Antonio outscored Portland 30-27 in the third quarter after scoring just 19 points in the first period.
DeRozan’s baseline drive and layup on Rodney Hood gave the Spurs their first lead at 59-58 with 8:44 remaining in the third. DeRozan has struggled offensively at the start of the season, shooting 41 percent. He was 10 for 16 on a series of hard drives to the basket.
Blazers wing Kent Bazemore, who primarily defended DeRozan, fouled out with 6:27 remaining in the game.
The Trail Blazers made three consecutive 3-pointers to open the game and rolled to a 23-4 lead midway through the first. The Spurs missed four shots and had four turnovers, going scoreless for four minutes following Aldridge’s 14-foot jumper at 9:32.
Portland finished 10 for 33 from 3-point range.
Hood finished with 11 points and Skal Labissiere and Anfernee Simons had 10 points each for the Trail Blazers.