The Blazers scored first in a game for the first time this series. They rode that and built their largest lead of the series early on at 14-8 on a 9-0 run with seven minutes remaining in the first quarter. Gregg Popovich, the Extraneous G, decided he wanted to talk it over with the fellas and called a timeout. The Spurs came out of that timeout and went with four down, and Timmy connecting on a banker. Classic. Then out of nowhere Reggie Miller gave his opinion that a call that went against the Spurs was bad, and this is when I first thought the Spurs might be in trouble tonight.
The Blazers shot the ball much better than in the previous games and LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard shot 60% in the first quarter, which is pretty much twice as good as they had been shooting it. The Spurs were clearly in for a fight, and they trailed after the first quarter for the first time in the series, 29-24. In just a single quarter, the Blazers held the lead 18 times as long as they did over the first three games.
There was an actual basketball game being played in the second quarter. The Spurs played better defense and connected on more shots. The good guys won the quarter 24-21, and the Blazers took a 50-48 lead into the half.
Robin Lopez came out on fire in the third quarter, tipping shots, dunking the ball, and rebounding. The Blazers got hot from downtown and played their best quarter of the series, going up 15 with two minutes left after outscoring the Spurs 29-16 in the quarter. They took care of the ball, committing no turnovers, while the Spurs coughed it up three times and missed both of their three point attempts. The Spurs were forced into a 24-second violation, and the momentum was firmly with Portland. By the time the quarter ended the Blazers enjoyed an 85-68 advantage over the Silver and Black.
The Blazers hit enough shots and the Spurs couldn't buy a triple, no matter how open they were, finishing 3-of-18 from distance for the game. The Blazers took the game. The series will go to at least Wednesday when the Spurs will try to finish the series at the AT&T Center.
Your Spurs fall to 7-4 in the postseason. The magic number stands at nine.
I don't think we had the energy, the focus. We didn't accomplish our defensive tasks the way we had in the first three games. I think both mentally and physically we played at a lower level than we had [previously].