Lillard scores 25 and Blazers beat Spurs 103-92

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 13, 2014 at 1:38 am •  Published: May 13, 2014
Advertisement
;

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Nicolas Batum had a simple question for his Portland teammates: "Why not us?"

No other team has come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series. But the Trail Blazers took the first step Monday night by beating the San Antonio Spurs 103-92 to stave off elimination and narrow the Western Conference semifinal series to 3-1.

"Why not us? No, it's never been done before," Batum said. "We know it's going to be tough. It won't be easy, especially against this team.'

The French forward had 14 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists and pestered fellow countryman Tony Parker all night. Damian Lillard had 25 points to lead the Blazers, who won their first second-round playoff game since a victory over Utah in the 2000 conference semifinals.

"We had nothing to lose tonight. We had no pressure. It was do or die," Batum said. "So we just go out there and play."

Portland held Parker to 14 points after he had scored 29 points or more in three of his last four playoff games. Coach Gregg Popovich sat Parker and Tim Duncan after Portland built a 20-point lead in the final quarter.

The Spurs are looking to advance to the conference finals for the third straight season. Game 5 is Wednesday night in San Antonio.

"The energy was weird tonight," Parker said. "You have to give a lot of credit to Portland. They played great. They came out of the gates and I thought Batum was great tonight. He gave them a big boost."

The Blazers were the last team to take a series to seven games after dropping the first three. Portland rebounded in the first round against Dallas in 2003, but ultimately lost the deciding game in the first-round series.

The Blazers have been hurt by the loss of backup point guard Mo Williams to a groin injury for the past two games. Williams provided both energy and points off the bench all season in relief of Lillard.

Portland got just six points off the bench in Game 3, but Will Barton provided a spark with 17 points on Monday night.

Barton became the first Blazer with 17 points and six rebounds off the bench in a playoff game since Brian Grant in 2000 against Utah.

"Any time you get a boost off the bench it's always good for a momentum swing," San Antonio's Danny Green said. "When he comes in and gets the crowd into it, they pretty much get it going, and it helped them a lot. "

Continue reading this story on the...