NBA Portland Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers Squander Opportunity To Regain Early-Season Form

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers held the best record in the NBA‘s Western Conference at 31-9 at one point.  After Wednesday’s defeat to the San Antonio Spurs, they have since gone 5-9 and now are owners of a 36-18 record. Their slide continued against a Spurs team that was playing without Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard. Portland had every chance to win, but could not pull it out late in the 111-109 loss.

This has to be a disappointing loss for Terry Stotts and his group. They, too, were missing their best player in LaMarcus Aldridge, who sat out with a groin injury. Still, this is a game that the Trail Blazers should have won.

All-Star guard Damian Lillard had a monster performance with 31 points, six assists and four boards.  Wesley Matthews, though, struggled as he hit just 6-of-18 shots on his way to scoring 18 points. Robin Lopez had 11 points, 14 boards and two blocks.

Mo Williams and Thomas Robinson each played well off the bench. Williams scored 18 points, while Robinson finished the game with 10 points and nine rebounds. Nicolas Batum struggled offensively as he had just eight points, but he did grab five rebounds and dished out five assists.

The Trail Blazers have the talent to win games even without Aldridge.  Their execution on both sides of the ball will need to increase along with their focus if they hope to regain their early-season form. With the players that San Antonio was missing, this was not a game the Trail Blazers should have lost on their home court.

Martin Mihaly is a Houston Rockets writer for RantSports.com.  Follow him on Twitter @MartinMihaly, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.