LaMarcus Aldridge had a career-high 40 points along with 11 rebounds to power the Portland Trail Blazers to a 99-89 win over NBA-leading San Antonio on Tuesday.
Gary Neal’s 3-pointer for San Antonio tied it 78-78, but Aldridge’s layup and Wesley Matthew’s scoop gave Portland their biggest lead of the game to that point at 82-78 with 7:03 left.
It was the first game of the Spurs’ “Rodeo Road Trip,” the team’s annual junket while its home stadium hosts the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.
The next stop on the nine-game trip is the highly anticipated matchup with the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers today.
Wesley Matthews added 21 points for the Blazers.
Manu Ginobili had 14 points for the Spurs, who have lost only eight games this season.
Lakers 114, Rockets 106, OT
In Los Angeles, the hosts only narrowly avoided a rare third-straight home loss, edging Houston in overtime.
Kobe Bryant scored 32 points while Pau Gasol hit the go-ahead layup with 1:04 left in overtime and finished with 26 points and 16 rebounds.
The two-time defending NBA champions finished their first overtime of the season on a 10-2 run, barely holding off injury-depleted Houston.
Luis Scola hit a tying layup with 5.5 seconds left in regulation for the Rockets, who have lost three straight. Houston launched a season-high 38 3-point attempts, but made just 10.
“It’s important in this business to be able to play down the stretch and win close games,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson told reporters.
“We had a six-point ball game [against Boston] on Sunday with four minutes to go, and we didn’t play down the stretch, which is what you have to do,” he said.
Celtics 95, Kings 90
In Sacramento, Ray Allen scored 22 points as Boston overcame a slow start to get past Sacramento.
Rajon Rondo had 17 points and 10 assists as the Celtics pulled away in the fourth quarter.
DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans finished with 20 points apiece for a Kings team that was coming off wins against two of the Western Conference’s elite — the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Hornets — but again fell short of their first three-game streak this season.
Hornets 97, Wizards 89
In New Orleans, the hosts dropped Washington to a 0-25 record on the road, sliding closer to the worst ever such start in league history.
Jason Smith scored a career-high 20 points in a rare starting role while Chris Paul had 15 points and nine assists for New Orleans.
Smith was starting for center Emeka Okafor, whose oblique muscle strain kept him out for the first time in 306 games.
Nick Young scored 30 points for Washington, who trailed by double digits most of the second half in losing its sixth straight overall.