Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/3

Game 1: Saturday, November 3rd
Trail Blazers90
Game 2: Wednesday, December 19th
Trail Blazers79Final
Game 3: Wednesday, March 27th
Trail Blazers98
Game 4: Monday, April 8th
Trail Blazers87Final

Trail Blazers 87

(46-31, 18-20 away)

Spurs 99


    Coverage: FSSW

    7:30 PM ET, April 8, 2002

    1 2 3 4 T
    POR 20 19 24 2487
    SA 23 32 26 1899

    Top Performers

    Por: D. Stoudamire 23 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast

    SA: T. Duncan 24 Pts, 8 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Spurs squash Blazers' attempts at a late rally

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Early in the third quarter Monday, the San Antonio Spurs were riding a 29-point lead over the Portland Trail Blazers and they kicked it into cruise control. Bad idea.

    Tim Duncan

    Tim Duncan stood tall for San Antonio once again, with 24 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

    The Blazers went on an 18-4 tear late in the final period to slash the Spurs' lead to six. But Tim Duncan knocked down a turnaround jumper and the San Antonio defense held Portland scoreless the rest of the way in a 99-87 victory.

    The game might have been a preview of a first-round playoff matchup. The Spurs are ranked fourth in the Western Conference, while Portland fell two games behind fifth-seeded Minnesota.

    Duncan led San Antonio with 24 points and eight rebounds. His only basket of the fourth quarter was a 10-footer over Rasheed Wallace to put the Spurs up 95-87, with 1:28 left. The field goal was one of two by the Spurs over the final 9:16.

    Steve Smith, a former Trail Blazer, and Jason Hart made four free throws at the end to cinch the victory.

    While Duncan was the offensive star, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich heaped praise on the 7-foot forward for throwing a defensive blanket over Wallace, who scored only one point in the first half and ended the game with five points on 1-for-13 shooting.

    "He did a good job of getting behind (Wallace) and the bucket and not fouling him," Popovich said. "They key was to not let Rasheed get off to a good start."

    The 6-foot-11 Wallace leads the Blazers in scoring at nearly 20 points a game.

    Smith added 19 points for the Spurs, while David Robinson contributed 14 points and reserve Malik Rose had 12.

    Damon Stoudamire led Portland with 23 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the late burst. Reserve Derek Anderson scored 12, and Erick Barkley and Scottie Pippen each scored 10.

    Portland coach Maurice Cheeks said while the rally fell short, it still made a statement going into the postseason.

    "We needed to do something to put some doubt in their mind," he said. "We know we can play them well in Portland, but we need to be confident that we can come in here and play them in San Antonio, as well."

    The Spurs won three of the four regular-season games between the teams, including both in the Alamodome.

    Steve Kerr, a former Spur, said once his ex-teammates piled up a 75-46 lead midway through the third, they figured the game was over.

    "They relaxed and we attacked," he said. "Sometimes a small swing in momentum can turn into an avalanche. That happens all the time in the NBA."

    The Blazers got frustrated trying to contend with Duncan and Robinson from the outset, with Dale Davis and Shawn Kemp both picking up three fouls by the opening minutes of the second quarter.

    "It seemed like all of the calls were going against them," said Robinson. "I know how that feels sometimes, and it's easy to lose your composure."

    A 3-pointer by Anderson cut the Spurs' lead to 25-23. San Antonio then went on a 15-2 run over the next five minutes, followed by a 10-4 burst to build a 19-point advantage late in the half.

    Stoudamire sparked an 8-2 string with a 22-footer and a driving layin to trim the deficit to 13, but Smith sneaked in a 3-pointer just ahead of the time clock with three seconds left in the half to make the score 55-39.

    Stoudamire connected on seven of his 11 shots in the first half for 15 points. The rest of the Blazers managed only eight baskets on 30 attempts (27 percent), while the Spurs shot 58 percent from the floor.

    Game notes

    San Antonio has won 11 in a row at home, and is 30-9 in the Alamodome this season with two left to play. ... Robinson now has 9,974 career rebounds. ... Duncan was selected Western Conference player of the week ending April 7 after averaging 28 points, 15 rebounds and six assists in three games. It was the third time in the past four weeks he has won the honor and the sixth time this season. ... Duncan also has been player of the month in December and March. ... Smith outscored Anderson and Kerr, the players he was traded for over the summer, by a margin of 19-18. ... Portland amassed three technical fouls on the night: one each by Pippen, Davis and coach Cheeks.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 87 99
    FGM-FGA 32-81 (.395) 30-61 (.492)
    3PM-3PA 10-26 (.385) 6-13 (.462)
    FTM-FTA 13-17 (.765) 33-42 (.786)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-33 5-36
    Assists 19 23
    Turnovers 14 17
    Steals 9 7
    Blocks 4 7
    Fast Break Points 4 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (3/1) 16 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Damon Stoudamire Stoudamire
    Points: 23
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 24
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2