Game 3 Notes & Quotes: Spurs 118, Trail Blazers 103

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May 10, 2014

NOTES

• San Antonio now leads Portland, 3-0, in the Western Conference Semifinals series. The last time the Trail Blazers were down 0-3 in the postseason, they came back to win the next three games to force a Game 7 before falling to the Mavericks in the First Round of the 2003 NBA Playoffs.

• LaMarcus Aldridge is the first Trail Blazer with four straight double-doubles in a single playoffs since Clyde Drexler (6, 1992). He is also the first Trail Blazer with 10+ rebounds in four straight games during a single playoffs since Buck Williams (1992).

• LaMarcus Aldridge now has six playoff games with 20+ points and 10+ rebounds, tied for most in the NBA during this postseason (Dwight Howard).

• Damian Lillard is the first player with 200+ points, 50+ rebounds and 50+ assists in his first nine career playoff games since LeBron James (2006). His streak of nine straight games with 17+ points is the longest during a single playoffs in Trail Blazers history.

• Nicolas Batum becomes the first Trail Blazer to record 20+ points, nine+ rebounds and seven+ assists in a postseason game since Scottie Pippen (5/16/00 vs. Utah).

• Nicolas Batum made his first four 3-point attempts tonight, tying his career high with four 3-pointers in a playoff game (April 25, 2014 vs. Houston). Batum has recorded four career playoff games with at least 20 points, all of which have come in this postseason.

• Wesley Matthews has recorded five career playoff games with at least 20 points, three of which have come in this postseason.

• Four Trail Blazers (Aldridge, Batum, Lillard and Matthews) scored 20+ points for the second time in the 2014 NBA Playoffs (Game 4 vs. Houston). Portland had not accomplished the feat in any playoff game since 1992 prior to this year.

• 97 of Portland’s 103 points came from the starting five. San Antonio’s bench scored 40 points in tonight’s contest.

• Tonight marks the latest date the Trail Blazers have played at home since June 2, 2000, when the team played at home against the L.A. Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.

• Tonight marks the first time that the Trail Blazers and the Spurs have played in Portland in the NBA Playoffs since June 6, 1999, in the Western Conference Finals.

• The Trail Blazers started the third quarter on a 17-4 run to narrow the score to 64-57 with 7:24 to play in the third quarter but never got closer the rest of the game.

• CJ McCollum scored his first career points in the playoffs tonight. Victor Claver appeared in his first career playoff game.

• Tony Parker led all players in tonight’s game with 29 points. He has scored 29+ points in three of his last four playoff games.

QUOTES

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LaMarcus Aldridge

On Being Down In The First Half Of The Game Again:
“I thought we did better in the first. I think we were down 8 or 9 after the first and we didn’t feel great about that, but we were in the game. We knew that we had missed a lot of easy shots. I know I had missed some little chippies around the rim, so you don’t feel too bad about being down 8 or 9 after one. Then in the second, they did what they did the last game. They made some runs on us and we had some turnovers and they capitalized on them.”

On Whether Fatigue Is A Factor In Second Quarters:
“No, I can’t say fatigue is an issue. We play this sport for a living and every guy loves playing so no excuses. They just outplayed us in the second quarters in this series and we definitely have to do better.”

On Playing Without Mo Williams:
“Mo is big for us. He creates offense off the bench. He gets guys easy shots. He’s a big part of this team and this offense, so not having him, other guys had to do a little bit more and we brought in Will Barton and I thought he was great tonight at making plays for us and getting to the basket, but we definitely missed Mo because he scores and he gets guys involved.”

On Looking Forward To Game 4:
"The biggest thing that we have to understand about this team is that they never stop playing. If you guar their first option, they’re going to have a second option. If you guard the second option, they’ve got a third option. That’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned about this team. They’re persistent. They’re not going to change, they’re going to run their stuff over and over and over and wait for you to mess up and once you mess up, they make you pay. Tonight they did that. They ran their offense and we tried to cheat something, and they get a backdoor. We give up an offensive rebound and they make a big three. They’re just consistent. They play championship basketball and that’s what we have to get to.”

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Terry Stotts

Opening Statement:
“In some ways, this was very similar to games one and two. Obviously we got down big in the first half and play hard and compete in the second half but the hole is too big. It’s disappointing to have a game like this. The crowd was great. We made it interesting in the second half, but against San Antonio, if you put your guard down, they take advantage of it. They’re good because they have a lot of options. Everybody is ready to play. Everybody is a threat. When the opportunities are there, they take advantage of them.”

On Frustrating First Halves:
“It is frustrating. You’ve got to play through the frustration. It’s part of the game. It’s part of the playoffs. We’re playing a championship caliber team. You’ve got to play through that. But yeah, it’s frustrating to get down 20 in the first half. You look at the scoreboard and it’s a hole, but I think in all three games, we get in a hole and we keep competing. As a coach, that’s all you can ask.”

On Experience Being A Factor:
“That’s an easy answer. I don’t know. I think they’re a good team and it’s just experience – you can chalk it up to experience, I don’t know. Experience is valuable.”

On Whether He Has Seen San Antonio Play Better Than This:
“Well, game 7 against Dallas but this is as well as I’ve seen them play all season. But game 7 against Dallas, they came out of the gate and they haven’t stopped since then.”

On Moving Forward In This Series:
“We’re going to come out and have a great effort on Monday night. That’s the most important thing. We’re going to show our character, we’re going to show our pride and we’re going to come out and play our asses off on Monday.”

On Second Half Success Particularly With Aldridge & Batum:
“I thought Nic did a very good job in the second half. Most likely, he’ll start on Parker on Monday, but Monday is going to be a long game. LA has opportunities on pick and pops in the previous games, so we’re not going to change a lot of what we do. LA has been in pick and pops all season and he’ll be in those same situations.”

On Defense:
“We’re giving up a lot of points. Our defense needs to be better. You can look at the bench production as not having enough points, but we give up 60 in the first half and 70 in first half in game 2, I’m more concerned right now. If we defend better, we get the rebound, we get out and run, it takes less pressure off of our half-court offense.”

On Lillard's Shooting:
“I doubt that it’s a confidence thing. Damian is a confident player. He’s going to keep taking the ball to the basket. He’s going to look for his threes and he’s going to look for his shots. Some nights the ball goes in and sometimes it doesn’t, but I don’t think he necessarily changes the way he plays. He takes threes, he takes the ball to the basket, he shoots the midrange, he does a little bit of everything.”

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Tony Parker

On Game Following Pattern Of First Two With Big Spurs Lead In First Half:
“I think it just happened. We just wanted to come in and have a good start, take care of the ball and make sure we play good defense like we did in the second half at home. We just wanted to continue to play good basketball.”

On Whether He Thought They Would Be 3-0 Against Portland:
“Not at all. We’re just playing great right now. I don’t know what to say.”

On Whether It Is As Good As He Has Ever Been:
“Maybe. I just think we’re very focused. We came in today and played great D and took care of the ball and ended up with the win. It’s a great team win.”

On Whether Game 7 Against Dallas Sparked The Team:
“I think it started after game 3 against the Mavericks. I think that shot woke us up. Down 2-1 and Dallas really made it a series. They played great basketball. Everybody was playing very well on that team and they made it hard on us. And then game 7, you have to show up because if not, the season is over. From that, I think we learned from it and right now so far, we’re playing good.”

On The Team:
“The team is doing a great job for me. They’re setting great picks for me and they’re getting me open, so I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates. At the same time, you’re right, I’ve got my energy back so I feel good.”

On Whether He Was Surprised That Portland Didn’t Put Batum On Him Until Second Half:
“A little bit, a little bit. Usually they put Batum pretty fast on me. Nico knows my game, we play together every summer. So he tries to put pressure and did a good job. So I expect him to maybe start on me next game. I don’t know.”

On The Close-Out Game:
“It’s always the hardest game. The close-out is the hardest. I think our team is ready. We understand that we went all the way to seven against the Mavericks. It will be nice if we can get it, but we know Portland is going to come out. They’re not just going to let down. They’re going to play with a lot of motivation. They have nothing to lose. I’m sure they want to win a game in front of their home crowd. So we will have to match their energy and be ready, but as a team, I think it would be great if we can get it and get some rest.”

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Gregg Popovich

On Offensive Execution:
“Tony, he’s been the engine for us. He started out really well tonight. He made shots, he involved everybody else. He was playing great D at the other end. He’s really playing a whole complete game.”

On One Turnover In First Half:
“That’s an aberration. One turnover in a half is pretty amazing for us, so that was fortunate. That helped us a good deal. We’ve scored well. For the most part, we’ve taken good shots. We haven’t turned it over inordinately, so it’s been pretty good. You look at the film and we’ll see all kinds of things we probably could have done better. Every game is like that, whether you win or lose you think you can improve. Overall, the offense is pretty good.”

On What The Spurs Can Do Better:
“Everything. It’s a game of mistakes. Every facet of the game. It doesn’t matter who wins and loses, a coach goes back to the film and there are mistakes made defensively, there are mistakes made in transition, plays might not be run correctly, contested shots may be taken when somebody else was open. There’s always things you can improve, it’s not just one thing.”

On 25/25 Shooting From Free Throw Line:
“I’m glad we made our free throws, it was important for us.”

On Defense:
“I think we’re making them work hard. The goal is to not give them anything easy. They’re really talented, they can really shoot it. The big guys are tough on the board. So making them work to get their shots is a real key for us and I think we’re doing that to the best of our ability.”

On Bench Outscoring Portland 40-6:
“The bench has been important to us all year long. We achieved home court advantage because our bench played so well all year long. It allowed us to keep guys at 30 minutes or less for the entire season. They’ve continued to be big for us this series.”

On Sustaining Portland Run In 3rd Quarter:
“Teams are going to make runs A 20 point run at half – the only thing worse than that is probably being down a lot. It’s hard to keep a lead in the NBA. Third quarters have not been good. They’ve come after us. Defensively, we made some errors to start the quarter and they made some shots. We missed some shots and all of a sudden it’s a 5 or 8 point difference real quickly. But that’s the nature of the beast and the 24 second clock.”