Spurs beat Blazers 118-103, take 3-0 lead in series

PORTLAND, Ore. — Tony Parker scored 29 points and the San Antonio Spurs pulled into a commanding 3-0 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series against Portland with a 118-103 victory over the Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

The Spurs led by as many as 23 points in the first half, building a big early lead just as they had in the first two games of the series in San Antonio. The teams meet again on Monday at the Moda Center.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Portland, which pulled within eight points in the third quarter but couldn’t get any closer. The Blazers were hurt by 15 turnovers and only six points from their bench.

No NBA team has come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a seven-game series.

The one time Portland rebounded after a two-loss series start was in the 1977 finals against Philadelphia — which remains the team’s lone NBA championship.

San Antonio, the top seed in the West, is vying for a second straight trip to the finals: Last season the Spurs fell to the Miami Heat in seven games.

The winner of the series goes on to meet the winner of the other semifinal between Oklahoma City and the Clippers. The Thunder lead that series 2-1.

San Antonio has dominated this one.

On Thursday night, the Spurs built a 20-point lead and won 114-97. The Spurs routed the Blazers 116-92 in the series opener after a hard-fought seven-game series against the Dallas Mavericks.

The Blazers were without reserve guard Mo Williams, who has a groin injury. Williams played just 9 minutes in Game 2, and the Spurs’ backups outscored Portland’s 50-19.

Williams has consistently brought a spark and leadership off the bench the whole season, and has capably filled in while Lillard rests. Earl Watson and Will Barton helped spell starter Damian Lillard in Game 3.

The Blazers took a brief 13-12 lead midway through the first quarter on Lillard’s step-back jumper. It was just their second lead of the series.

But Parker pestered the Blazers and his finger-roll layup put the Spurs up 25-15. Marco Belinelli’s falling-down jumper pushed the lead to 28-17 before the first quarter was over.

Parker’s back-to-back 3-pointers gave the Spurs a 58-35 late first-half lead and they went into the break ahead 60-40.

Portland rallied to start the second half, pulling within 64-52 after Nicolas Batum’s 3-pointer. He hit another 3 to narrow it to 68-60, but the Spurs kept the Blazers from coming any closer and led 83-69 going into the fourth.

Parker’s layup and free throw gave San Antonio a 100-81 lead in the fourth. Portland mounted a rally to come within 103-91 on Robin Lopez’s layup with 5:46 left.

Portland advanced to the second round for the first time in 14 years by defeating the Houston Rockets in six games, clinching the series with Lillard’s amazing 3-pointer at the buzzer at home for a 99-98 victory in the deciding game.

The Spurs have a 3-2 series advantage over Portland in the playoffs, sweeping the previous meeting in the 1999 conference finals. The teams split the regular-season series 2-2.

Notes: Before Game 2 in San Antonio, Blazers forward Thomas Robinson saw a snake in the locker room at the AT&T Center. Because the snake hissed, the team at first thought it was a rattlesnake, but it later turned out it was not venomous. So before Saturday night’s game, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked if his team had seen any critters in the Moda Center: “We expected a Beaver but we didn’t see one,” he laughed. … Tim Duncan moved past Karl Malone into fifth place all-time for career playoff points. He trails only Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Matt Calkins: Forget the slow start, the Sounders are showing they’re title contenders

Seattle’s 2-0 win over St. Louis City FC launched it into sixth place in the Western Conference.

Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald talks with the media after practice at Under Armour Performance Center. The Seattle Seahawks hired Macdonald on January 31, 2024. (Kevin Richardson / Tribune News Service)
Seattle Seahawks roster breakdown: One thought on Geno Smith and every position group

The next phase of Mike Macdonald’s debut season as head coach of… Continue reading

Jurrangelo Cijntje pitches 2022 MLB Draft Combine held at Petco Park on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 in San Diego, CA. Cijntje, from Mississippi State, was the Mariners’ first pick in the 2024 MLB Draft. (Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune)
Mariners lean on college players, pitchers with ‘power arms’ as MLB draft concludes

Seattle’s 20 selections include 19 college players and one high schooler.

Jurrangelo Cijntje pitches at the 2022 MLB Draft Combine held at Petco Park on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 in San Diego, CA. Cijntje, from Mississippi State, was the Mariners’ first pick in the 2024 MLB Draft. (Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune)
Mariners go college route on second day of draft, take 2-way player Grant Knipp

Seattle chose youth and selected eight college players.

Tyler Cronk performs in the slam dunk competition during the Everett 3on3 tournament in downtown Everett, Washington on Sunday, July 14, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Recap, videos and photos: 2024 Everett 3on3 was another slam dunk

Everett alumni place second; skills contests, food trucks and vendors were also in full swing this past weekend to celebrate the basketball tournament’s third edition.

View of T-Mobile Park from the Press Club. Ben Ray / The Reporter
T-Mobile Park at 25: Mariners fans share favorite ballpark memories

The venue turned a quarter of a century on Monday

Kamiak High School’s Victor Sanchez Hernandez Jr. puts on a University of Washington football helmet. Sanchez Hernandez, a three-star defensive end who’s heading into his senior season, committed to the Huskies. (Photo courtesy of Victory Sanchez Hernandez Jr.)
High school football recruiting: Here’s how Washington’s 2025, 2026 classes are shaping up

TNT sports reporter Jon Manley spoke with national recruiting editor Brandon Huffman.

Once an MLB bust, Mill Creek’s Travis Snider now hopes to change toxic culture

When Snider made it to the big leagues in 2008 at just 20 he was one of the game’s top prospects, touted as the Blue Jays’ next great hitter.

Louisville guard Hailey Van Lith found little room between South Carolinas Destiny Littleton (11) and Laeticia Amihere. (Carlos Gonzalez / Star Tribune)
These Olympians in the 2024 Paris Games have ties to Washington state

Nineteen athletes competing in France are from The Evergreen State.

From left to right: Arlington’s Kierra Reese and Stanwood’s Ellalee Wortham, Ava DePew and Presley Harris. The foursome, called “Awesome Mix 12,” won the High School Elite division in 2023 and returned to Spokane Hoopfest this year to claim the Women’s Competitive division title. (Photo courtesy Sarah Reese)
Winter Wesco rivals, summer hoopfest champions

Arlington’s Kierra Reese and Stanwood’s Ava DePew, Presley Harris and Ellalee Wortham teamed up to win back-to-back 3-on-3 titles.

UW Husky rowing will be well-represented in Paris at 2024 Olympics

The U.S. eight competes in heat racing on July 29 with finals on Aug. 3.

Golden Knights center Chandler Stephenson (20) skates with the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Flames at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Chandler Stephenson’s deal about broader Kraken goals rather than dollar value

The former Golden Knights centerman signed a seven-year deal for $6.25 million with Seattle last week.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.