The San Antonio Spurs look for a better result on their annual Rodeo Road Trip when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday. San Antonio was drubbed 141-102 by the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday to drop to 0-2 at the start of the eight-game excursion.
This is the 17th edition of the Rodeo Road Trip, so dubbed because of the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo taking over the Spurs' arena for most of February. The Spurs were no match for Golden State while resting their top two players in All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge and shooting guard DeMar DeRozan but they will be back on the floor against Portland. The Trail Blazers fell for only the second time in their past eight games when they dropped a 118-108 decision to the visiting Miami Heat on Tuesday. Shooting guard CJ McCollum matched his career best of seven 3-pointers for the second time in five games and scored 33 points to top 30 for the 10th time this season.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT LINE: Blazers -5.5
ABOUT THE SPURS (32-24): San Antonio lost by 30 or more points for the fourth time this season and coach Gregg Popovich was highly perturbed over his team's shaky defensive performance against Golden State. "Our transition defense has not been good and it has really has been a problem for us," Popovich told reporters after the loss. "It is frustrating because it is basically an effort thing. I'm really disappointed in our overall transition 'D' for probably the last seven or eight games." The Spurs allowed a whopping 49 points in the third quarter en route to giving up 140 or more points for the fourth time this season.
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (32-21): Shooting guard Rodney Hood is slated to make his team debut after being acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this week. Hood, who is averaging 12.2 points this season, was hoping to be moved by Cleveland and said he is looking forward to getting a fresh start."I just want to be a part of winning, just throw myself into it," Hood told reporters. "I'm not worried about coming in and trying to score 'X' amount of points or getting some notoriety. It's just about being competitive and being whatever the coaches need for me to do. And try to do it to the best of my abilities."
1. The teams split two meetings earlier this season with the home team winning by 13 on each occasion.
2. San Antonio PG Patty Mills matched his season best of four 3-pointers against the Warriors and has made two or more in each of the past eight games.
3. Portland backup SF Jake Layman scored a career-high 25 points on 11-of-17 shooting versus Miami.
PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 123, Spurs 116 Bet Now
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