NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, May 8th (All times Eastern)
(5) Portland Trail Blazers (0-1) at (1) San Antonio Spurs (1-0), 9:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs will try to keep the momentum going against the Portland Trail Blazers when the two squads meet for Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal series Thursday at AT&T Center.
The Spurs squashed the Blazers in Game 1 Tuesday night, 116-92.
Tony Parker led six San Antonio players in double figures with 33 points and doled out nine assists as the seasoned veterans imposed their will against the younger, more inexperienced Blazers.
The Spurs did not need their stars down the stretch for the second straight game thanks to building a big lead that was never seriously threatened.
Marco Belinelli contributed 19 points off the bench, Tim Duncan finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. For Duncan, it was his 152nd career double-double in the postseason, which is second to Magic Johnson's 157.
Kawhi Leonard added 16 points and nine boards for San Antonio, which ousted the eighth-seeded Dallas Mavericks in Game 7 on Sunday with a similarly lopsided 23-point rout.
"We have to realize Game 1 is just Game 1. It's just one game," Parker said. "They will come out with a lot of energy (in Game 2) and we have to match that."
Patty Mills and Aaron Baynes, who played one game in the Dallas series, both had 10 for the second unit. The Spurs benched destroyed their Portland counterparts, 50-18, which makes sense considering the San Antonio bench finished first in the regular season in bench scoring and the Blazers were last.
LaMarcus Aldridge put up 32 points and 14 rebounds for Portland, while Damian Lillard, the hero in the series clincher against the Houston Rockets on Friday, started slow and ended with 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting.
Robin Lopez was the only other Portland player in double figures Tuesday night with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Portland reached the Western Conference semifinals for the first time in 14 years when Lillard ended the Rockets' season with a dramatic buzzer-beating 3- pointer in Game 6.
In the Blazers' first six possessions of Game 1, they missed six shots, had two turnovers and trailed 8-0 after Parker drove to the hoop for two.
An early timeout did little to help Portland, which shot 21.7 percent (5- of-23) from the field in the opening frame and nearly got outscored by Parker himself, with the All-Star point guard's 13-point quarter leading the way to a 29-16 spread.
"I think San Antonio's energy was at a high level and it took us a little while to catch up to that level," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said after practice on Wednesday. "You've got to learn from it and you've got to get off to a better start."
Portland, which committed 20 turnovers to just nine assists, had posted a 14-7 record against San Antonio the past five regular seasons, the best record in the NBA against the Spurs in that time.
Game 3 will be Saturday night at the Moda Center in Portland.
05/08 10:24:04 ET