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NBA Game Summary - Portland at San Antonio

(Wednesday, December 23rd)

Final Score: Portland 98, San Antonio 94

San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Jerryd Bayless, in his first NBA start, poured in a career-high 31 points to go with seven assists, as the Brandon Roy-less Trail Blazers pulled out a gutsy 98-94 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

Roy (shoulder) joined the Blazers' growing list of injuries following a win over Dallas on Tuesday, the same game center Joel Przybilla ruptured a patella tendon in his right leg that will keep him sidelined indefinitely.

Even without a true center, Portland won for the fifth time in six games, thanks to contributions throughout the lineup, including a 22-point, eight- rebound effort from LaMarcus Aldridge.

"If you give me the opportunity I'm going to try and help this team win in any way possible," Bayless said. "It's not about me, it's about the team. I had a pretty good game, but LaMarcus had a good game and Steve (Blake) stepped up. This whole team stepped up all around. With all these injuries it's just showing the heart and character of this team. Hopefully we continue to win."

Veteran Juwan Howard donated 12 points and as many rebounds for the victors.

Tim Duncan checked in with 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs, who had won six of seven coming into the game. Richard Jefferson ended with 18 points, while Tony Parker and Roger Mason each had 16 in defeat.

"This is the NBA. One guy goes down and another guy gets an opportunity," Mason said. "Tonight, it was Bayless. He had been playing very well and he got an opportunity. Other guys made shots and they are all NBA players. You know you are going to get their best shot."

DeJuan Blair made a layup to get the Spurs within 83-80 with less than four minutes gone in the final stanza. Aldridge responded by scoring six of the next eight points, with his alley-oop slam making it 91-80 with 4:39 left.

The crowd got back into the game when the Spurs scored seven quick points, but Bayless added two free throws and a three-pointer for a 96-87 cushion.

The Spurs had one last run in them, with Duncan hitting a pair of baskets around Parker's three-point play, the latter coming with 27.4 seconds left to cut their deficit to 96-94.

Bayless ran the clock down before missing an off-balanced shot in the lane, but the rebound was batted back to Andre Miller, who was fouled with 0.8 seconds remaining and made up for a 2-for-13 shooting effort by hitting both free throws to seal the thrilling win.

The first quarter ended with Portland holding a 28-24 edge, and Manu Ginobili hit a shot at the halftime buzzer to get the Spurs within 48-47.

Howard's jumper capped an 8-0 Portland run for a 65-55 lead near the midway point of the third. The Blazers' lead heading to the fourth was 75-69.

Game Notes

Portland, which has been without center Greg Oden, forwards Travis Outlaw and Nicolas Batum and guards Rudy Fernandez and Patrick Mills, next play at home against Denver on Christmas Day...The Spurs play at Milwaukee on Saturday...The Blazers have won four straight against the Spurs...Martell Webster scored 11 points for Portland, which won the battle on the glass, 36-33, and committed just eight turnovers, compared to 14 for San Antonio.

12/24 02:02:24 ET

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