Triple errors as Blazers stop Spurs
PORTLAND, Ore. — Nicolas Batum said the 3-pointer at the buzzer that gave him a triple-double against San Antonio was the worst thing he’s ever done in his career.
With the victory already in hand, Batum tossed his shot up from about 25 feet to cap the Portland Trail Blazers’ 115-105 victory over the Spurs on Saturday night. The forward from France finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.
He said he honestly didn’t believe it would fall. And when it did, he immediately felt bad about it.
“I don’t mean to disrespect this team,” Batum said. “I’ve got three triple-doubles in my career. This one didn’t count.”
Damian Lillard had 25 points, seven assists and seven rebounds, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 24 points for the Blazers, who led by as many as 13 points in winning their 13th straight home opener.
But it was Batum’s finish that provided the drama for the fans at the Moda Center, formerly the Rose Garden Arena.
Marco Belinelli hit a 3-pointer that pulled the Spurs to 104-100 with 1:24 left. After Lillard made two free throws, Tim Duncan scored on a running hook shot.
Wesley Matthews dunked for Portland but Belinelli hit another 3 to make it 108-105 with 19 seconds left. Lillard and Batum made free throws before Batum hit his long 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds left.
Batum casually threw the ball up, then shrugged in disbelief when it swished through the net.
“I didn’t really think about it but I know it was a bad thing to do. I want to apologize to the Spurs organization,” he said. “That didn’t show a good side of myself or the Blazers organization. I did not want to disrespect this team. “
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said no offense was taken.
“Why would I be mad at that?” he asked. “He’s a good kid. I don’t care.”
Only five other Blazers have had as many three triple-doubles with the team: Sidney Wicks, Bill Walton, Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter and Damon Stoudemire.
Duncan finished with 24 points in the first loss this season for the Western Conference champions. The 16-year veteran sat out the Spurs’ 91-85 win Friday night against the Lakers after bruising his chest in Wednesday’s season-opening victory over Memphis.
“We’re gonna win games and we’re gonna lose games. It’s just how it goes,” Duncan said. “We’re gonna use the entire 82 games to put a team together and have everybody on the same page once the playoffs start.
“We’re gonna win some games and we’re gonna lose some games and we’re not going to freak out about it.”
The Blazers were also playing the second game of a back-to-back. Aldridge scored nine of his 25 points late in the fourth quarter to help the Blazers hold off Denver 113-98, snapping the Nuggets’ 23-game regular-season home winning streak.
76ERS 107, BULLS 104
PHILADELPHIA — Rookie Michael Carter-Williams had 26 points and 10 assists and Spencer Hawes added 18 points and 11 rebounds as the Philadelphia 76ers continued their stunning start to the season.
Pegged to be one of the league’s worst teams, the Sixers (3-0) have opened the season with wins over Chicago, Washington and two-time defending champion Miami.
Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 22 points and 10 rebounds and Luol Deng had 20 points.
Still dealing with neck soreness, Derrick Rose finished with 13 points and six assists for Chicago.
After trailing by 18 points in the second half, the Sixers took a 100-99 lead with 3:29 left when Carter-Williams picked up a loose ball and calmly laid it in. It was the Sixers’ first lead since 11-10.
PACERS 89, CAVALIERS 74
INDIANAPOLIS — Paul George and Lance Stephenson combined for 43 points and Indiana remained unbeaten.
Stephenson scored 22 points, including 10 in a 14-4 run midway through the fourth quarter that gave the Pacers a 79-61 lead with 7:46 to play.
George, who had 21 points and 13 rebounds, and scored all the points in a key third-quarter run for Indiana (3-0).
Dion Waiters scored 17 points, Kyrie Irving had 15 and Anderson Varejao 14 for Cleveland (1-2), which dropped both ends of a two-night road trip after beginning the season with a homecourt win.
Stephenson began the final surge by hitting a 3-pointer from the left side, scored on a layup, drove the lane, then finished the run by knocking down a 28-footer from the left side.
PELICANS 105, BOBCATS 84
NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis had 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists to lead New Orleans to its first win since changing its nickname to Pelicans.
Tyreke Evans added 15 points, Jrue Holiday had 14 and Brian Roberts 13 for New Orleans (1-2), which made the name change from Hornets in the offseason.
Ramon Sessions had 22 points and Kemba Walker added 14 for Charlotte (1-2).
The Pelicans set a franchise record with 18 blocked shots, including a career-high six by Davis. Jason Smith tied a career high with five blocks.
ROCKETS 104, JAZZ 93
SALT LAKE CITY — Chandler Parsons scored 24 points and James Harden had 23 to help Houston rally from a 19-point deficit to remain undefeated and keep Utah winless.
Jeremy Lin added 20 points as the Rockets (3-0) outscored the Jazz 64-37 in the second half.
After John Lucas made a jumper to beat the shot clock and pull the Jazz within 95-90 with 3:27 left, the Rockets allowed just one field goal the rest of the way.
Enes Kanter made an inside jumper to give Utah its final lead, 85-83 with 7:11 remaining. Harden drove for a layup, Lin hit a 3-pointer and Parsons followed with another basket to start the game-ending run.
Richard Jefferson led Utah (0-3) with 18 and Kanter added 16 for the Jazz.
MAVERICKS 111, GRIZZLIES 99
DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points to lead Dallas’ balanced offense.
Shawn Marion had a double-double of 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Mavericks, while Monta Ellis had 18 points. Jose Calderon broke out of a shooting slump with 15 points, Samuel Dalembert didn’t miss a shot in scoring 14 and Vince Carter added 11 in a reserve role.
Zach Randolph had 21 points and 14 rebounds for Memphis.
Calderon had made just 1 of 15 shots from the field in the first two games. Last season’s NBA leader in 3-point percentage had been 1 for 8 from beyond the arc before going 3 for 7.
Dallas missed its first seven shots before Nowitzki banked in a 3-pointer 2:20 into the game. The Mavericks went on a 13-0 run over 2 ½ minutes to take a 16-6 lead they never lost.
RAPTORS 97, BUCKS 90
MILWAUKEE— Rudy Gay had 18 points and 15rebounds, DeMar DeRozen added 17 points, and Toronto spoiled Milwaukee’s home opener.
After losing a 12-point lead, DeRozen helped Toronto hold on down the stretch. His step-back jumper put the Raptors back up 89-85 with 4 minutes left.
Then after missing two free throws, DeRozen was fouled again after corralling the rebound, making both this time with 2:09 left for a five-point lead.
O.J. Mayo had 16 points off the bench for the Bucks, including a 3 that tied the game at 85 with 5:53 left.
The Raptors controlled the paint early and outrebounded the Bucks 60-38.
WARRIORS 98, KINGS 87
OAKLAND, Calif. — Klay Thompson scored 27 points, Stephen Curry had five 3-pointers among his 22 points, and Golden State limited Sacramento to 34.5 percent shooting from the field.
After combining for 46 points on 17-of-26 shooting from the field through three quarters, Golden State’s backcourt duo mostly watched from the bench in the final period while Warriors reserves finished off the lopsided victory.
David Lee had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Warriors, who shot 51.3 percent from the field. Curry added a game-high 12 assists.
Rookie Ben McLemore led the Kings with a career-high 19 points, while Travis Outlaw had 15 points and 12 rebounds and Jason Thompson had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
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