Spurs lose another overtime heartbreaker

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SAN ANTONIO: Damian Lillard scored a career high 43 points as Portland beat San Antonio 129-119 in triple overtime, sending the Spurs to their second-straight heartbreaking triple overtime loss.

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The reigning NBA champion Spurs also lost in multiple overtimes 117-116 to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 32 and the Trail Blazers pulled away in the third overtime to top the Spurs by 10 points in front of a crowd of 18,581 at the AT&T Center arena.

“I just kept attacking. That has always been my favorite time of the game when everything is on the line,” Lillard said.

Lillard hit game-tying three-pointers in regulation and the first overtime and scored nine of Portland’s 17 points in the third overtime as the Blazers crafted their fourth-straight win.

“I was really proud of the way we kept competing,” said Portland coach Terry Stotts.

“Obviously it helps to make some big shots, but there was a lot of trust in moving the ball.”

Cory Joseph hit a game-tying shot in the second overtime for San Antonio, which became the first NBA team in 63 years to play in consecutive three-overtime games. The 1951-52 Baltimore Bullets split their contests.

San Antonio was missing NBA finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and guard Tony Parker with injuries.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said his team tried to tough it out but couldn’t keep up in the final overtime.

“We are wearing some guys down. They did a great job under tough circumstances,” Popovich said.

The Spurs have now lost three straight games, their longest slide since they lost three in a row in January.

Tim Duncan had a season-high 32 points and Danny Green added 27 for the Spurs, who lost despite starting the first two overtimes on 6-0 runs.

In the first overtime, they scored just one more point over the next two and a half minutes.

Lillard’s tying three-pointer came after Wesley Matthews missed a shot from beyond the arc and Aldridge got the rebound and passed it back to Lillard at the point.

AFP

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