|Date of game: 5/10/2014
Recap: Portland vs. San Antonio
Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Not even a return to Moda Center could help the struggling Portland Trail Blazers.
Tony Parker scored a game-high 29 points, Tim Duncan had 19 and the San Antonio Spurs took a commanding 3-0 series lead with a 118-103 road win over Portland in Game 3 of this Western Conference semifinal.
The veteran-led Spurs, who needed seven games to get past the pesky Dallas Mavericks in the opening round, have made it look easy against the upstart Blazers here in the second round. After winning by 24 and 17 points in Games 1 and 2, respectively, San Antonio shot a perfect 25-for-25 from the foul line on its way to a third consecutive blowout.
Kawhi Leonard tallied 16 points with 10 rebounds and Manu Ginobili netted 14 off the bench for the Spurs, who committed just seven turnovers while forcing 14.
Four Portland starters poured in 20-plus points, but with sixth man Mo Williams sidelined with a groin injury, the Blazers reserves contributed just six points -- four of which went to C.J. McCollum in the final 1:34 -- on eight shots.
Wesley Matthews led the way with 22 points, Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 apiece and Nicolas Batum scored 20 in the deflating setback.
"It was disappointing to have a game like this," said Portland head coach Terry Stotts. "To have a game like this, the crowd was great. We made it interesting in the second half, but against San Antonio if you put your guard down, they take advantage of it. They're good because they have a lot of options."
Lillard, whose buzzer-beating 3-pointer in Game 6 of the first round eliminated the Houston Rockets, has struggled mightily from the arc in this series. Lillard made 23-of-47 against the Rockets but is 1-for-12 from distance in three losses to the Spurs.
No team has ever come back to win a seven game series after trailing 3-0.
The Spurs scored on five straight possessions early on, with Parker following a Duncan layup with four consecutive jumpers for a 10-3 lead three minutes in.
"Tony has been the engine for us and he started out really well tonight," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. "He made shots, he involved everybody else. He played D at the other end. He really played a whole, complete game."
Portland briefly led, 13-12, on a Lillard jumper, but San Antonio quickly went back on top and built a comfortable lead as the quarter went on. Duncan's jumper ignited an 8-0 surge to make it 20-13. In the waning moments of the period, Marco Belinelli got an off-balance jumper to go to push the margin into double figures, and the Spurs led 28-18 after the first.
Belinelli and Patty Mills stepped into back-to-back 3s early in the second. Boris Diaw followed with a sweeping layup and less than two minutes into the period, the lead had grown to 16. It was 60-40 at halftime.
A pair of Batum 3-pointers highlighted a 17-4 flurry to open the second half, as Portland showed signs of life for the first time since early in the contest. But the deficit was too much to overcome.
Any momentum that San Antonio had lost during Portland's run in the third was restored heading into the final frame, as Diaw's offensive rebound and reverse layup in the final stages of the stanza had the lead back to 14.
The spread hovered between 11 and 22 the rest of the way.Game Notes
The Spurs improved to 13-5 all-time in postseason matchups with the Blazers
... San Antonio swept the most recent playoff meeting between the two teams, a
4-0 series win in the 1999 Western Conference Finals ... Duncan passed Karl
Malone (4,761) for fifth all-time in playoff scoring with a short jumper
midway through the second quarter. Duncan now trails just Michael Jordan,
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal ... The Spurs have now
scored at least 60 points in the first half of four straight playoff games.
They are the first team since Portland in 1992 to accomplish that feat ...
San Antonio's bench is outscoring Portland's 140-43 in three games.