Barry made the first seven 3-pointers he attempted and had 15 of his 23 points in the second quarter to lead the Spurs over the Portland Trail Blazers 98-79 Friday night. He needed to score as Tim Duncan was held to just nine points, his lowest of the season.
Barry, a career 40 percent 3-point shooter, has seen his minutes off the bench dwindle since the Spurs acquired Michael Finley. The 11th-year guard from Oregon State has been mostly a role player in his nearly two seasons with San Antonio after starting for most of five years in Seattle.
“This feels like what I used to do for a long time,” said Barry, who averaged 14.4 points in 2001-02, his best season with the SuperSonics. “It’s good to see the ball going in, and being able to do the things you know you’re capable of doing.”
The Spurs led by as many as 22 in the game that wasn’t close after the first quarter. San Antonio holds a one-game lead over the Dallas Mavericks in the Southwest Division and also for the best record in the Western Conference.
Duncan, who has been hampered by a foot injury, was in foul trouble in the third quarter, had seven rebounds and six assists in 29 minutes. He took just seven shots and was double-teamed nearly everytime he touched the ball on the offensive end.
“Tim not scoring, he doesn’t care,” said coach Gregg Popovich. “He had six assists and led the team. … He’s unselfish enough to find guys on the floor and let them play.”
Steve Blake had 11 points and seven assists for the Blazers, and Joel Przybilla had 10 rebounds. Portland, with the worst record in the Western Conference, is on its longest losing streak of the season.
In this game, the Blazers were simply overwhelmed
“They hit all their shots, they penetrated, moved the ball around,” said Randolph, who was just 4-of-15 from the field. “That’s a veteran team. That’s a championship team.”
The Blazers were without Darius Miles, who was excused from the team after the death of his grandfather Friday morning. Miles, who will also miss the Blazers’ game Sunday against the L.A. Clippers, was held out of Portland’s 125-108 loss to Phoenix on Thursday after oversleeping and missing shootaround.
The Spurs took a 9-4 lead early, but Portland cut the deficit to 15-13 after Dixon made a 3-pointer and a driving layup.
But Barry entered the game and gave the Spurs an immediate lift, hitting all five 3-pointers in the second quarter as San Antonio stretched its lead to 19 points, eventually leading 51-35 at the half.
Dixon came off the bench and gave Portland a lift. He started the second half in place of struggling guard Sebastian Telfair, and finished 9-for-17 from the field and 5-for-5 from the free throw line.
“Juan was the one guy who was making shots,” Portland coach Nate McMillan said. “That’s what we’ve got to do, make some shots.”
The Spurs were coming off a 104-92 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night that snapped a five-game winning streak.
Parker’s girlfriend, “Desperate Housewives” star Eva Longoria, attended the game, sitting with Blazer president Steve Patterson and his wife Yasmin. … Portland last lost seven in a row from March 28-April 8, 2005. … The Spurs tied the all-time series at 62-62.