2014 NBA Playoffs
Western Conference Semifinals – Game #4
#1 San Antonio Spurs at #5 Portland Trail Blazers
Spurs Lead Best of Seven Series 3-0
Moda Center – Portland, Oregon
Monday, May 12, 2014, 10:35 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: San Antonio -3 1/2
Current Line: San Antonio -4 1/2
Opening Total: 212
Current Total: 210 1/2
Opening Money Line: Spurs -170 / Blazers +145
Current Money Line: Spurs -190 / Blazers -165
The San Antonio Spurs lost game six of their first round playoff series by two points to the Dallas Mavericks to force a game seven in the series. Since then, the Spurs have won four straight games, all by 15 points or more. After routing Dallas in game seven, San Antonio has won the first three games of the Western Conference semifinal series against the Portland Trail Blazers with ease. The Spurs look to complete the sweep Monday night in game four and move on to the Western Conference Finals for the third straight year. Portland looks to force game five Wednesday night in San Antonio with a win. The Trail Blazers face an almost insurmountable task as no NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 series deficit to win the series.
San Antonio won game one 116-92 and game two 114-97. The series shifted to Portland for game three Saturday night. The result was the same as the Spurs won 118-103. San Antonio has dominated every facet of the series against Portland, and the Blazers have never been in any of the games past the first quarter. This has been Harlem Globetrotters over the Washington Generals style domination by the Spurs.
Saturday night, San Antonio took a 28-18 first quarter lead and led by as many as 23 in the first half. The Spurs would lead by 20 at halftime. Portland pulled to within 8 points in the third quarter but would get no closer. The Spurs cruised to the 15 point win to put the Trail Blazers on the brink of elimination. Portland had 15 turnovers. San Antonio’s bench outscored Portland’s 40-6. For the series Portland’s bench is being outscored 140-43.
Tony Parker scored 29 points and added 6 assists. He has scored at least 29 in three of the four games during the current Spurs’ winning streak. Tim Duncan added 19 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Kawhi Leonard had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Manu Ginobili added 14 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard each scored 21 points for Portland. Aldridge had 12 rebounds and Lillard had 9 assists. Nicolas Batum had 20 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists for the Blazers.
San Antonio is coached by Gregg Popovich, who won his third NBA coach of the year award this season. San Antonio is 49-43 ATS and the total is 52-39-1 this season.
San Antonio is outscoring teams 105-97. The Spurs are #6 in scoring and #6 in points allowed. San Antonio is shooting 48.6% from the field and 39.7% from 3 point range. The Spurs are #2 in field goal percentage and #1 in 3 point shooting. San Antonio is #4 in free throw shooting at 78.5% from the line. Opponents are shooting 44.4% from the field and 35.3% from 3 point range. The Spurs are in the top 10 in both categories. San Antonio is averaging 43.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 42.2 per game. The Spurs average 25.2 assists, 14.6 turnovers, 7.5 steals and 5.2 blocks per game. Opponents average 20.3 assists, 14 turnovers, 7.8 steals and 4.7 blocks per game.
Point guard Tony Parker averages 16.7 points, 5.7 assists, and 2.3 rebounds per game. Parker is probable with the ankle injury. Forward Tim Duncan averages 15.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.9 blocks per game. Forward Kawhi Leonard averages 12.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Guard Manu Ginobili averages 12.3 points, 3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1 steal per game. Guard Marco Belinelli averages 11.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Guard Patty Mills averages 10.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists. Boris Diaw, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter, Cory Joseph, Jeff Ayres, and Matt Bonner will also get significant minutes.
Portland is coached by Terry Stotts. The Trail Blazers are 47-44 ATS this season and the total is 53-37-1 this season.
Portland is outscoring teams 107-103 this season. The Trail Blazers are #4 in scoring and #22 in points allowed. Portland is shooting 45% from the field and 37.2% from 3 point range. The Blazers are #10 in 3 point shooting. Portland leads the league in free throw shooting at 81.5% from the line. Opponents are shooting 45.1% from the field and 35.5% from 3 point range. The Blazers average 46.4 rebounds per game and opponents average 43.5 per game. Portland leads the league in rebounding but is #22 in rebounds allowed. The Blazers average 23.1 assists, 13.8 turnovers, 5.5 steals, and 4.8 blocks per game. Opponents average 20.4 assists, 12.1 turnovers, 7.8 steals and 3.7 blocks per game.
Forward LaMarcus Aldridge averages 23.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1 block per game. Point guard Damian Lillard averages 20.7 points, 5.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. Guard Wesley Matthews averages 16.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Forward Nicolas Batum averages 13 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. Center Robin Lopez averages 11 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. Mo Williams, Dorrell Wright, Thomas Robinson, Will Barton, and Joel Freeland will also get significant minutes. Williams left game two with a groin injury and is doubtful for game four after missing Saturday’s game.
San Antonio is 5-0 ATS in conference semifinal games, 4-0 against teams with winning records, overall, against Western Conference teams, on one day rest, and after scoring 100 points or more in the previous game, 4-1 after a cover, 11-3 after a straight up win of 10 points or more, 7-3 against Northwest Division teams, 16-7 after a straight up win, 1-4 in road games, and against teams with winning home records, 1-6 after allowing 100 points or more in the previous game, and after the opponent scores 100 points or more in the previous game. The Spurs have covered the last 5 games against the Blazers. The over is 4-1 in this series recently.
Portland is 9-23 ATS against Southwest Division teams, 2-6 after a double digit home loss, 2-7 after a straight up loss by 10 points or more, 1-4 in Monday games, 0-5 after a straight up loss, 0-6 after allowing 100 points or more in the previous game, after failing to cover, and one day rest, 0-7 against teams with winning records, after the opponent scores 100 points or more in the previous game, overall, and against Western Conference teams, 0-4 at home, and against teams with winning road records. The over is 6-1 in Portland in this series recently. The Blazers are 10-4 ATS in the last 14 games in Portland against the Spurs.
Portland was near the bottom of the league in bench scoring during the regular season, so it is no surprise that the starters are doing most of the scoring. However, playoff basketball is different. The Blazers are still a very young teams with lots of talent. You have to learn how to win the playoffs when the defenses get ramped up. Your top players might struggle and someone has to be there to pick up the slack. The only way this series doesn’t end tonight is if San Antonio takes the foot off the gas knowing they have game five at home. I don’t see it happening. Portland will be a fixture in the playoffs for a long time, but this is not their series.