PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)—A new-look lineup worked wonders for the Portland Trail Blazers, and coach Nate McMillan plans to keep it for a while.
“It was a change of pace, maybe something we need,” Roy said.
Richard Jefferson(notes) had 19 points, Manu Ginobili(notes) had 17, and Tim Duncan(notes) added 14 points and eight rebounds, but San Antonio lost Tony Parker(notes) to a sprained ankle and couldn’t overcome a lethargic first half, playing one night after a loss at Utah.
The Spurs (2-3) haven’t won on the road yet this season.
In an effort to shake up the Blazers’ stagnant offense, McMillan inserted Miller into the starting lineup, placing him in an expanded backcourt along with Blake and Roy.
“I looked at the schedule,” McMillan said. “With the schedule the next week or two I am going to stay with it and look at it. It was a good unit tonight.”
With 2:36 left in the first half, Parker appeared to come down awkwardly, called timeout and left the floor for the locker room. He did not return.
Portland (3-3) had lost two in a row at the Rose Garden and had struggled on offense, with only Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge(notes) and Travis Outlaw(notes) averaging in double figures. Portland also entered the game 23rd in the NBA in scoring with a 94.2 average.
The Blazers bench accounted for 23 of Portland’s first 41 points and keyed a late first quarter 13-2 run.
Oden muscled past Duncan for a driving layup to put Portland up 62-47 with 6:56 left in the third quarter. Roy added a jumper to extend the lead to 17. But the Spurs put together an 13-3 run, with Antonio McDyess(notes) hitting a 20-footer to cut the lead to 69-62.
San Antonio went on an 8-0 run, with Ginobili making four free throws, to get to 77-72. Shortly after, Jefferson scored to make it 80-77, but Blake answered with a 3-pointer and Oden converted two free throws for the Blazers.
“We committed too many mistakes from the get-go,” Ginobili said. “It’s too bad. It shouldn’t be happening. We’ve really got to step out and try to play 48 minutes.”
NOTES: Joel Przybilla(notes) had 13 rebounds for Portland. … The Blazers wore for the first time in the regular season their new alternate home jerseys with “Rip City” on the front. … The Spurs started Keith Bogans(notes) at shooting guard, in place of Michael Finley(notes). … Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is 32-17 as a head coach against the Blazers.