After the final buzzer blew on Friday night’s game at the AT&T Center, quite a few fans rose to their feet and applauded.

The final score was Portland 109, San Antonio 100, but the fans who applauded weren’t Portland expats or traveling Blazers fans. Most were clad in Spurs gear, apparently appreciative of what they just witnessed.

The teams played a tight, competitive game filled with dramatic swings, clutch shots, tough, physical play and even a Hall of Fame coach getting tossed.

“We played hard, we competed, we delivered our points, they took our points, they delivered more,” Blazers guard Wesley Matthews said. “It was a good, enjoyable basketball game. Even better that we won.”

After a six-game stretch of playing sporadically against teams with losing records, the Blazers got to really test their mettle against the Spurs (31-9), the defending Western Conference champions who have the best record in the conference. The win was a sweet start to a tough road trip in which the Blazers play four games in five nights, all against teams that would be in the playoffs today.

“It was a huge win, especially with the rest of the trip that we got in front of us,” said point guard Damian Lillard, who finished with 21 points and eight assists. “That was big for us to come here, especially against probably the toughest one of them all, and get a win. I think it’s great momentum for us going forward.”

The Blazers (30-9) were at their best late, when they tightened up defensively, holding San Antonio to 40 percent field shooting and forcing three turnovers in the fourth quarter while shooting 60 percent themselves. Matthews came up big, making three well-timed three-pointers in the quarter.

With the Blazers hanging onto a 102-96 lead, they forced a three-point miss from Marco Belinelli, then went inside to LaMarcus Aldridge, who after a slow first half, came alive with 20 second-half points to finish with 26 points and 13 rebounds and his 23rd double-double of the season.

Aldridge got the ball in the low block, but was quickly double-teamed. He kicked the ball out to Nicolas Batum, who swung it to Damian Lillard, who made one final pass, to Matthews, who sunk a killer three with 1:29 left. It was the kind of unselfish, team play the Spurs have specialized in for years and has become the Blazers’ signature this season.