Final score: Spurs on the verge of advancing after game 3 win

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Spurs continued their dominance of the series after prevailing on the first game played on the always tough Moda Center. One more win will not only mean a sweep but the Spurs' third appearance in a row on the West Finals.

The Spurs visited the Moda Center looking to take a commanding 3-0 lead on the series. The Blazers were basically fighting for their playoff life, so it was surprising when San Antonio outplayed the home team like they had on the previous two match ups to start the game. Tony Parker was phenomenal early on, scoring 12 first quarter points to propel the Spurs to an early 28-18 lead. The Spurs' defense was air tight and their offense worked like clockwork.

As Aldridge and Lillard continued to struggle, it was Wesley Matthews who kept Portland in it with his accuracy from outside. Without his three three-pointers, the Blazers probably would have fallen behind to an insurmountable deficit because the Spurs' depth was simply too much to handle for a shallow Blazers team that was missing its best bench scorer. The difference in the frame was that Lillard couldn't buy a bucket while Parker was sinking threes. The Spurs scored 32 to the Blazers' 22 and it seemed like another blowout was shockingly in store.

The Blazers seemed to come off the break with a better understanding of what was at stake. Their execution and intensity mounted while the Spurs' faded. Nicolas Batum caught fire and punished the Spurs to the tune of 11 points, two rebounds, two assists and a steal for the quarter, displaying his versatility. Once the Blazers came back to earth, the Spurs had a chance to put the game out of reach. But they simply couldn't capitalize on their opportunities. After surviving the Blazers' counter, San Antonio did enough things well to go into the fourth with a comfortable 14 point lead.

As the fourth quarter started, San Antonio seemed in control but the Blazers were a couple of good possessions away from making it interesting. But the Spurs closed out the game like the veteran team they are. They traded baskets for a while before going on a 10-0 run to put the game out of reach. The last eight minutes San Antonio simply managed the lead en rout to a surprising 3-0 lead that puts them one win away from a sweep and the Western conference finals for the third year in a row.

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