The 1990 NBA finalists Portland Trail Blazers and their fans will forever remember the 1990-91 season. The Blazers opened the season with 11 wins in a row. The streak included a two-point win over the Lakers in Los Angeles and convincing home wins over contending Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls.
With experienced guard Danny Ainge and second-year forward Cliff Robinson meeting expectations and thriving in the sixth man role, it seemed that the Blazers’ horizons are boundless.
After the 23-point home win over the Golden State Warriors, everyone knew that the next game, the one with the 1989-90 Midwest division champions San Antonio Spurs, will be the real test of the Blazers 10-game winning streak.
Knowing that the whole NBA and eventually basketball world will be watching the game in the Rose Garden, the Blazers, aiming for their 11th win in a row, opened the showdown in an emphatic style!
The Blazers’ offensive plays were spearheaded by the great play of the starting backcourt of Terry Porter and Clyde Drexler, which completely outplayed their Spurs peers – Rod Strickland and Willie Anderson. That evening Porter and Drexler combined for 41 points, 23 assists, 17 assists, and 5 blocked shots!
In their quest for the perfect quarter against a renowned opponent, the Blazers opened the game by playing aggressive defense highlighted by rebounding. On the offensive end, they were in constant motion, sharing the ball to the open man and consistently making open shots with tremendous ease.
The Blazers also wisely explored the three-point line, one thing Spurs didn’t do quite well during Larry Brown’s tenure in Texas. When the smoke after the first quarter Blazers shootout cleared out the scoreboard stated – Home 49, Visitors 18! In their quest for the perfect quarter, the Blazers had hit 22-25 shots from the floor!
However, as the game progressed, the Spurs managed to rebound back from an early deficit, eventually win the second quarter by 15-32 and cut the Blazers lead to 14 points (60-54) at the halftime.
In the second half, the Blazers were able to hold on to the lead and capitalize on their monster first quarter with a 117-103 win, thus extending their perfect regular-season record to 11-0!
Just two nights later, on November 27th, 1990, it would be the Phoenix Suns who were able to hand the Blazers their first loss of the 1990-91 NBA season, winning a high-scoring affair in the Phoenix Memorial Coliseum by 123-109.
Overall, the 1990-91 Portland Trail Blazers posted a league-best 63-19 regular-season record and won the 1st place in the Pacific Division before losing to the Lakers in the 1991 Western Conference finals.