NBA: Spurs pound Blazers, take 2-0 lead
SAN ANTONIO - Agence France-Presse
Robin Lopez #42 of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots against Tiago Splitter #22 and Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the AT&T Center on May 8, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. AFP PhotoKawhi Leonard tallied 20 points as San Antonio dominated almost every facet of the game en route to a 114-97 win over Portland in game two of their NBA playoff series.
Tony Parker had 16 points and 10 assists, Manu Ginobili scored 16 points while Tim Duncan finished with 10 points and six rebounds for the Spurs who lead the series 2-0.
"We just executed on offence. We like to move the ball. Everybody played great and our bench was especially awesome," said Parker.
Leonard shot a superb eight-of-nine from the field and made all four of his three point attempts for San Antonio who set the tone in Thursday's game with a high-scoring first half.
"Kawhi is a young player," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "He obviously looks confident. He's always playing defence. He's a good all-around player."
Nicolas Batum paced the Trail Blazers with 21 points and nine rebounds, Damian Lillard tallied 19 points and LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
"We have to go back home, get both games and do the same thing," said Batum. "There's no panic."
Game three is set for Saturday in Portland.
Parker said they have to maintain the same intensity in Portland that they had at home.
"We got a lot of experience on our team," Parker said. "We just have to make sure we keep playing with the same defence over there."
San Antonio led by just three, 29-26, at the end of the first but then turned up the heat on the Blazers in the second quarter.
They opened up a 17 point lead in the second by going on a 20-4 run.
Tiago Splitter capped the run with a layup that gave the Spurs a 49-32 lead with just over eight minutes left. Splitter finished the contest with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
"The onslaught at the beginning of the second quarter was the turning point of the game," said Portland coach Terry Stotts.
Portland went on a 11-5 run in the opening 3:31 of the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 10 points. Batum then hit a three pointer that made it an eight-point game with 5:37 left.
But Leonard and Ginobili nailed consecutive three pointers that pushed the Spurs' lead back to 17 with under three minutes to go. San Antonio was never threatened the rest of the way.