The Trail Blazers improved to 2-1 on the season, leading most of the way then holding off San Antonio for a 115-105 victory Saturday at the Moda Center. Nicolas Batum, who got the third triple-double of his career, got a key offensive rebound off a Damian Lillard missed three-pointer, then shoveled the ball to Wesley Matthews, who dunked with 21.3 seconds left to put Portland up 108-102. After Marco Belinelli made a three-pointer for the Spurs, Lillard and Batum each made two free throws to seal the win, Portland’s 13th in a row in its home opener. Lillard led the Blazers with 25 points, seven assists and "Obviously, this is a really good win," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "It's nice to get a home win against the defending Western champs." Triple-double: Batum sewed up his triple-double with a three-pointer just before the final buzzer, when he was dribbling up court and casually hoisted up a 25-footer that went in. He finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. Batum said after the game that he owed the Spurs an apology for taking the shot, which goes against the NBA credo of not attempting shots when the shot clock is off at the end of a game in which the outcome is decided. "That is maybe the worst thing I’ve done in my career right now," Batum said. "I want to apologize to the Spurs organization, because that didn’t show good (respect) for the game, for myself, for the Blazers. I don’t really want to disrespect this team." Spurs players said they were not upset at the attempt, with Batum's fellow Frenchman, Tony Parker, saying he was happy for his national team teammate. "Why would I be mad at that," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He's a good kid. I don't care." Both of Batum’s previous triple-doubles came in home games last season. On Jan. 21, he got 12 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in a loss to Washington. Five days later, he got 20 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists in a win over the Clippers. Hot start, continued: LaMarcus Aldridge continued his hot start to the season, finished with 24 points and is averaging 25.7 this season. Aldridge shot 11 for 17 from the field, becoming the second Blazers player to get 10 field goals in the first three games of the season since Geoff Petrie in 1973.
Batum's triple-double helps lead Blazers past Spurs, 115-105
Oregonian | Nov 3