Guard Damian Lillard scored 25 points, and Portland blew things
open in the second half en route to a 103-92 victory over the San
Antonio Spurs at the Moda Center.
Forward LaMarcus Aldridge scored 19 points and forward Nicolas Batum
contributed 14 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists for the Trail
Blazers, who trail 3-1 in the best-of-seven series.
The Spurs return home Wednesday for Game 5, their second chance to
advance to the conference finals.
Ahead by two points at the half, Portland outscored San Antonio
42-26 in the first 15 minutes of the second half, then went on to
win for the first time after suffering double-digit losses in each
of the first three games.
"We did what we needed to do," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "It
was an all-around team effort. We were solid defensively and didn't
have very many lulls, which has enabled them to have their runs (in
the first three games). It was a good game, but we still have
another few to go."
Tony Parker's 14 points led the Spurs. Forward Tim Duncan
contributed 12 points and nine rebounds, and forward Boris Diaw
added 12 points.
After leading for all of 33 seconds in the first three games, the
Blazers led most of the way Monday night.
"It was about wanting it more," Lillard said. "The Spurs are a
championship team, but we didn't want to be that team to get swept,
or the team that facing an uphill battle gave up. We weren't ready
to go home."
The 6-foot-9 Batum was as important as anybody in the Portland
lineup, ably guarding the 6-2 Parker and coming within two assists
of the fifth triple-double in franchise playoff history.
"We had nothing to lose tonight," Batum said. "We had no pressure.
It was do or die. Lose tonight and we go on vacation. We played the
game we have played all season long."
For the first time in the series, the Blazers got major
contributions off their bench. Guard Will Barton had 17 points and
six rebounds, and forward Thomas Robinson added nine points and five
The Spurs shot 44.3 percent from the field but made only three of 18
attempts from 3-point range.
The Blazers hit 43.9 percent of their field-goal attempts, including
seven of 21 3-point tries.
Aldridge scored 11 first-half points and Lillard had 10 as the
Blazers took a 50-48 lead into halftime. Parker had 11 points on
5-for-8 shooting to lead the Spurs.
Portland controlled play in the third quarter, outscoring San
Antonio 35-20 to jack a two-point lead to 17. Batum got the Blazers
going in the third quarter, his seven straight points -- a
four-point play, then a 3-point shot -- giving them a 72-61
advantage. The Blazers extended the margin to 85-68 entering the
[to top of second column]
It was 92-74 with nine minutes remaining. The Spurs made a late run
but were unable to get the margin into single figures the rest of
"(The Blazers) played with great passion and physicality, as was
evidenced at halftime," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "They
had 10 fast-break points and seven offensive rebounds, they got to
the 50-50 balls, and that continued in the third quarter. That's why
"We just didn't match their energy, their focus. We didn't
accomplish our defensive tasks the way we had the first three games.
Mentally and physically, we played at a lower level than we had
through the series."
Portland led through most of the first quarter, taking a 29-24
advantage into the second. The Blazers shot 60 percent (12-for-20)
from the field in the quarter, the Spurs only 38.5 percent
San Antonio gradually cut into the deficit, tying it at 36-36 midway
through the second quarter. Portland maintained a slight edge the
rest of the quarter.
The third quarter was all Blazers. Now it is on to Game 5, where
they Portland will work toward achieving NBA history. The Blazers
hope to become the first NBA team to win a best-of-seven series
after falling behind 0-3.
"Why not us?" Batum said. "It's never been done before. We know it's
going to be tough, especially against this team. We'll just take one
game at a time. Go down there to San Antonio for Game 5 and try to
NOTES: Portland F Nicolas Batum is the only player in this year's
playoffs to record as many as 14 points, 14 rebounds and eight
assists in a single game. ... The Trail Blazers were without reserve
G Mo Williams (groin) for the second consecutive game. ... Blazers G
Damian Lillard, who made 218 3-pointers and shot .394 from 3-point
range during the regular season, is 3-for-19 from beyond the arc in
the series. He shot 2-for-6 from long range Monday. ... Lillard
became the first player in NBA history with 25-plus 3-pointers and
50-plus free throws in his first 10 career playoff games.
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