El Conclusión: San Antonio Spurs 116, Portland Trail Blazers 92
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|Tim Duncan, PF 24 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +15
Timmy was very good defensively and had the mid-range jumper going, but it was postseason double-double No. 152 of his career in just 24 minutes that’s the bigger story. Only Magic Johnson has more (157).
|Kawhi Leonard, SF 33 MIN | 6-13 FG | 3-5 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +18
He had a couple of quick crossover step-backs in this game that we haven’t seen much of at all over the last couple of years. The shots that followed were off target, but that kind of footwork is really promising to see considering what’s going to be asked of him in the future.
|Tiago Splitter, C 29 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +24
Tiago was the primary defender of LaMarcus Aldridge tonight; and while LMA sort of got going late (when it really didn’t matter anymore), it was Splitter’s early work that helped set the tone defensively. Aldridge went 5-of-12 from the floor on shots directly contested by Splitter, and two of those makes came in total garbage time. Not a great offensive game, but he was wonderful on the defensive side of the ball once again.
|Tony Parker, PG 36 MIN | 13-24 FG | 6-7 FT | 3 REB | 9 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 6 TO | 33 PTS | +27
The Spurs’ only All-Star lit the AT&T Center on fire for the second consecutive game, and his 33 points were the most he’s scored in the playoffs yet. Damian Lillard was given the primary task of defending Parker early and often in this one, and it just didn’t work. He did whatever he wanted with the ball against the young Portland star, reminding him who’s got the rings.
|Danny Green, SG 15 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +7
Portland tried to emulate what the Mavericks did against the Spurs defensively — sticking to shooters regardless of situation — and it worked against Danny Green. That’s about all that worked, though. But, this is definitely Green’s weakness, and San Antonio would surely like to figure out how to free him on the perimeter as his effectiveness disappears when he has to put the ball on the floor. Then again, it didn’t matter much tonight, so it’s tough to grade a guy too strictly here.
|Aron Baynes, PF 15 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +2
Whoa! Who the hell saw this coming? Popovich said after the game he played Baynes early in this one in an effort to further save his big men’s legs. I mean, that’s fine and all, but the playoffs are here. It kind of feels like it was more than that. Baynes didn’t really do much of anything against this team during the regular season, but perhaps Pop saw something. I don’t know. Either way, he was super active and productive because of it. Surprising development in the second round.
|Matt Bonner, PF 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -1
Wait, the Spurs were -1 when Matt Bonner was on the floor??? That can’t be right.
|Boris Diaw, PF 20 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +7
As solid as Bobo has been defending jump-shooting big men in this league, Aldridge is a really difficult matchup. He’s just too big and strong, and that release is absurdly high. But Diaw was solid elsewhere, staying involved when needed. Low-key but well-rounded stat line for Boris.
|Patty Mills, PG 12 MIN | 3-5 FG | 3-3 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +2
The Spurs’ bench finally stepped up big when Manu Ginobili struggled. Patty Mills is going to get his chances in this series against the likes of Mo Williams and Damian Lillard at times, and he took advantage in Game 1. Nice to see the ball go in for Patty.
|Manu Ginobili, SG 18 MIN | 0-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 2 PTS | +8
Oof. That shot was off tonight, which is kind of the scary part. The Spurs killed the Blazers, and Manu couldn’t find a way to score. But he did do his part creating for others, whether it was via pass or even just getting the ball up on the rim against a bad defensive rebounding team. Manu is such an important player for this team even when he’s not scoring, but man that shot looked bad tonight.
|Marco Belinelli, SG 28 MIN | 7-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 19 PTS | +13
Mama Mia! Marco made an appearance. After scoring 22 points in the entire seven-game series against the Mavs, All-Star Weekend’s 3-point champ went for 19 points on just nine shots and looked like the Belinelli we’ve seen all season. It was his highest point total since March 28 when he scored 28 against Denver, and he registered the highest plus/minus of all the bench players in the game. As Tony Parker said during his on-court post-game interview, “Best news is Marco Belinelli. He’s back.”
Where’d you pull the Aron Baynes thing from, Pop? You sly son of a gun.
Two Things We Saw
- We’ll get into Game 1 a little more in-depth in the morning, but this was a carryover of Game 7. The Spurs’ defense is on fire right now, and because of that, so is the offense. Against a Portland team that can be questionable defensively, you’ve got to pour it on it can get hot. San Antonio was active and disruptive from the tip, and the Trail Blazers never came close to matching it. Remember, the Spurs have a MAJOR advantage in playoff experience, and that may have truly come into play in this one.
- In our series preview, I mentioned the key statistic would be limiting Portland’s 3-point numbers, specifically regarding the number of attempts. They’re stocked with shooters, so you can’t give them room. The Blazers were just 4-of-16 from downtown, and all four makes came in the fourth quarter when the game was totally out of hand. Furthermore, Portland never eclipsed the 40-percent shooting mark at any point in the game, while the Spurs never dipped below 50 percent.