They achieved that goal and then some.
Tim Duncan and Tony Parker each scored 18 points and the Spurs'
big men held Randolph, Portland's top scorer at 18.5 ppg, to five
points on 1-for-14 shooting as San Antonio beat the Trail Blazers
106-75 on Wednesday night.
"(Randolph) was our main focus tonight," said Spurs coach
Gregg Popovich. "Tim had him at first and then Robert (Horry)
picked him up and did a great job."
Randolph sat down for the night late in the third period with
Portland down by 15. Afterward, he blamed his performance on a
"My head hurts," he said. "I shouldn't have played tonight. I
didn't feel good."
None of the Blazers stepped up to fill the scoring void,
particularly in the second half. Portland shot 9-for-32 (28
percent) after the break, with just three of them coming in the
Portland coach Nate McMillan said the Blazers are having trouble
relying on each other as a team.
"When it's difficult for us to score, we just can't dig down
and scrap," he said. "We need to learn that when things are going
bad, that's when we need to come together."
The Spurs had 57 rebounds, including 20 on the offensive end,
and outscored the Blazers 28-11 in the final quarter.
"They started out kind of hot and we kind of stuck with it and
kept them off the glass," Duncan said. "They didn't get a whole
lot of second shots, and every shot they took was contested."
The Trail Blazers took an early lead in the game as the Spurs
struggled with turnovers and errant shooting. But Parker, who had
all seven of his assists in the first half, found Nesterovic twice
in a row for layups and then he passed to Duncan cutting down the
lane for a dunk to give San Antonio its first lead at 12-10.
The Spurs scored their first nine baskets inside and maintained
a small lead through most of the half until a 3-pointer by Ginobili
extended their advantage to 47-37 with 2:39 remaining in the second
San Antonio held a 53-42 lead at the half and saw it grow to as
many as 33 points in the fourth even after the regulars sat down
for the night.
Duncan scored 15 points in the first half and Nesterovic made
six of his seven shots for 12 points.
The Spurs and Blazers are the two worst free-throw
shooting teams in the league, but they combined to make 35 of their
43 shots (81 percent) at the line. ... Duncan collected his 7,500th
career rebound in the second quarter. ... Perhaps the loudest
applause of the game came when the Coyote, the Spurs' mascot,
paraded around the court in a University of Texas t-shirt. ...
Portland was whistled for carrying the ball on two straight
possessions in the first. ... The Blazers have lost four straight,
and have one more road game in Oklahoma City on Friday before
returning home for their next eight contests.
Rachel Nichols and The Jump crew break down the social media antics of this musical love triangle. Is it a conspiracy to influence the series or a mere coincidence?
The SportsNation crew react to Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue's decision not to play forward Kevin Love in the fourth quarter of Game 4 against the Raptors, and if the team should be worried about him.
After a nightmarish first two games, Kyle Lowry has led the Raptors resurgence in the Eastern Conference Finals.