Tony Parker has been dominant in the opening two games of this Western Conference Semi-Final series.
He continued the trend with a 29-point display in Portland as the Spurs sent the Trail Blazers to their third consecutive defeat, taking a 3-0 lead in the series.
Parker has now scored 29 points in three of his last four playoff games and had 20 in the first 24 minutes of Game 3.
Portland once again stumbled out of the gates as the Spurs took off into the distance, building a 23-point first-half lead much like they had in the first two games of this series.
The deficit, much like it did in Games 1 and 2, proved too much for the Blazers to overcome. They rode some hot shooting in the third quarter to slowly whittle the lead down to just eight before falling away again.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and 12 rebounds but could not carry the Blazers like he did in their first-round series, largely thanks to the close attention of Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter and Boris Diaw.
Behind the starting five, Portland’s bench mustered just six points.
Their bench was outclassed in Game 2, being outscored 50-19 as the Spurs built a 20-point lead and won 114-97.
With Mo Williams out, the Blazers’ bench foundered offensively, shooting just 2-8 from the floor. In their case, they only played limited minutes as Nicolas Batum, Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews all played over 40 minutes. Aldridge and Robin Lopez played 39 and 37 minutes respectively.
The Spurs’ 3-0 lead is a lead unlikely to be overcome barring a disastrous injury. No team has won a seven-game series from a 3-0 deficit, the Blazers coming close in 2003 after forcing – and losing – a seventh game from a 3-0 hole.
The Blazers seem simply outclassed by the Spurs, who are relentlessly marching over opponents as they seek some semblance of vengeance for last year’s Finals defeat to the Miami Heat.
San Antonio Spurs:
Tony Parker: 29 points, 12-20 FGS, 6 assists
Tim Duncan: 19 points, 8-18 FGS, 7 rebounds
Kawhi Leonard: 16 points, 4-10 FGS, 10 rebounds, 7-7 FTS
Portland Trail Blazers:
LaMarcus Aldridge: 21 points, 9-23 FGS, 10 rebounds
Wesley Matthews: 22 points, 6-14 FGS
Damian Lillard: 21 points, 7-21 FGS, 9 assists, 7-7 FTS
Game 4 @POR: Monday, May 12th. Tip: 10:30pm ET