Game 4 Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 103, Spurs 92

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May 12, 2014

NOTES

• Tonight’s win marked the first victory for the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Semifinals since May 16, 2000 vs. Utah and the first playoff victory for the Trail Blazers against the Spurs since May 1, 1993 in the First Round.

• Nicolas Batum is the only NBA player to record a game with 14+ points, 14+ rebounds and 8+ assists during the 2014 NBA Playoffs.

• Nicolas Batum posted his first career double-double in the playoffs. Nicolas Batum recorded a postseason career-high 14 rebounds. His previous postseason rebound high was nine, which he set four other times, all in the 2014 NBA Playoffs. Batum had nine rebounds at halftime tonight.

• Damian Lillard became the only player in NBA history with 25+ 3-pointers and 50+ free throws in his first 10 career playoff games. He is also the first NBA player to score 17 or more points in each of his first 10 career playoff games since Kevin Durant (2010-11).

• LaMarcus Aldridge is the first player with 100+ field goals and 100+ rebounds in his team’s first 10 playoff games since Shaquille O’Neal in 2003.

• Robin Lopez set a new playoff career high with 12 rebounds (previously 11, set two other times, both in 2014).

• Will Barton scored a playoff career-high with 17 points (previously 13 points, Game 2 at San Antonio). He is the first Trail Blazer with at least 17 points and six rebounds off the bench in a playoff game since Brian Grant (5/14/00 at Utah).

• The Trail Blazers had their best quarter of the series in the third quarter tonight, making their first four 3-pointers and recording their largest scoring margin in a quarter (35-20), while not committing a single turnover.

• Prior to this postseason, 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 against the Mavericks in the First Round of the 2003 Playoffs.

• Portland led the Spurs, 29-24, at the end of the first quarter, the first time the Trail Blazers have outscored the Spurs in the first quarter this series. Portland only led Houston at the end of the first quarter one time in the First Round series (Game 1).

• The Trail Blazers went on a 9-0 run from 9:12 to 7:18 in the first quarter to capture a six-point lead over the Spurs (14-8). San Antonio last led in the game, 24-23, with 55 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

• Tonight marks the second game of this series that Manu Ginobili has scored two points or less (2 points, Game 1 at San Antonio). Prior to this series, Ginobili had not been held to two points or less in a playoff game since May 23, 2003 at Dallas.

QUOTES

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Damian Lillard

On What The Difference Was In Third Quarter:
“We just played with a lot more energy. Usually we come out and we’re fighting from behind. We’ve had good third quarters every game, but tonight we had the lead going into the third, so it was a little bit different. When we brought that spark of energy, we were able to blow a lead open instead of cut a lead down.”

On Not Falling Behind By A Large Margin:
“I thought it was great. It was a completely different feel from the first three games. Our backs were up against the wall. We knew that this could have been our last game if we didn’t come out and correct the things that we had been doing wrong over the first three games. I think guys were locked in. Everybody competed. We played physical, we played fast and we got out in transition and we got to the spots on the floor that we like to get to.”

On Whether There Was Frustration Of The Last Three Games:
“There’s nothing we could do about it now, so I think our team is just focused on one game at a time. We got this one done, so now we focus on the next game. The first three games are gone. They outplayed us. There was a lot of things we could have did better but we can’t go back and change it so we have to focus on what we did tonight and try to let that grow, try to keep improving and focus on the next game.”

On Finding Offense Better Tonight:
“I thought with Nico playing the way he played, the game came a lot easier. He was attacking, he was making plays. I didn’t have to bring the ball up a lot. He was pushing the ball, Wes was pushing the ball. Wes made shots. We had a lot of guys come in and play really well. I thought Will did a great job. Once we started to make shots, the lane opened up and I just started to attack. Like I said, it could have been our last game so I wanted to leave it all out there. I got into the paint and I was able to get some good looks at the rim.”

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Nicolas Batum

On Whether The Team Is Buying Into The 'Why Not Us’ Mentality After Falling Behind 3-0:
“We did, we did. Like we said, why not us? It’s never been done before. We’re down 3-0. We know it’s going to be tough. It won’t be easy. Especially against this team, the San Antonio Spurs. Like we always say, just take one game at a time. We were focused tonight. We had a great game tonight. We try to do the same thing, go down there to San Antonio and game 5 and just be focused on that game and move on.”

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Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts

Opening Statement:
“We did what we needed to do and we’re looking forward to going to San Antonio and keep competing and keep playing our basketball. We had a lot of good performances out there tonight. Obviously Will and Thomas off the bench were terrific. Nic was aggressive. He was the backup point guard and got us through the spells where Damian was out of the game. I thought it was a very good all-around team effort. Defensively, we were solid. We didn’t have very many lulls that have enabled them in the past to have their runs, so we were pretty solid defensively and locked in. It was a good game, but we still have another few to go.”

On Why It Took Four Games To Play Like This:
“It’s the NBA. It’s the playoffs. This happens. I think you have to give credit to San Antonio. They played three really good games. They didn’t shoot the ball well tonight. They’ve been shooting the ball really, really well from 2 and from 3. They’ve been on a four game roll offensively. They didn’t shoot the ball well tonight and I think this was the biggest thing.”

On Whether It Was More What The Trail Blazers Did Or More About What The Spurs Did That Made The Difference:
“It’s both, it’s always both. There’s two teams out there.”

On Energy & Physicality And Fifty-Fifty Balls:
“A lot of times when you have playoff basketball, or teams that are evenly matched, a lot of those extra possessions matter. The first two games of the series so far, they got those and were able to convert at a very high rate. I said those in the first two games, that was the difference in how they converted in those situations.

On What He Liked From Barton:
“A little bit of everything, but obviously his energy, his aggressiveness with the ball. He helped with the ball handling. He was relatively solid defensively, but for him to have 17 off the bench, that’s big for us. Because of those two guys, we were able to keep the starters’ minutes at a decent number.”

On Batum's Defense:
“I thought he was very persistent on Parker. His length, he was able to, and the fact that he knows Parker well enough where he can kind of get a rhythm as far as when he’s going to drive and when he’s going to pull up for a jump shot, but more than anything else, I thought he was persistent. He didn’t have any let-ups.”

On Whether He Sensed More Energy:
“I don’t know from their side, but I do know that we had good energy. The crowd was terrific. We fed off of the crowd. But you know, we came out in game 2 and we had good energy, but it’s a long game. More than anything else in tonight’s game, we were able to sustain our level of play, sustain our focus, sustain our energy for longer periods of time.”

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Tony Parker

On Whether He Could Tell Early On This Game Was Different:
“Yeah, the energy was weird tonight. 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. He got on the boards and was everywhere. A good win for them and we’re going to have to regroup and play better on Wednesday.”

On What Portland Did In The Third Quarter To Break Away:
“Just overall, the whole game we just didn’t have it tonight.”

On Batum's Play & Defense:
"He did a good job. He did a good job, but I got the shots that I wanted. He was great tonight. He was playing very well for them. He was everywhere.”

On Danger Of Giving Portland Confidence:
“We have to treat Wednesday’s game like it’s a game 7. It’s a big game for us. We worked hard the first three games to be in that position. Obviously we wanted to play better tonight, it just didn’t happen. We have to remember that we’re playing a great team and they’re just not going to give up. So Wednesday, we’re going to have to bring it.”

On Whether There Was A Letdown Being Up 3-0:
“No, we don’t take any game for granted. There was no let down. We just didn’t have it. It just didn’t happen tonight.

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Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich

On Portland Opening Up Lead After It Was A Four Point Game With Five Minutes Left In Third Quarter:
“I don’t think we played very well in general. I thought that they executed better than we did. Fifty-fifty balls, physicality, I thought they were much better than we were tonight. But we were hanging in, as you said with about five minutes to go in the third quarter. We missed some shots. That’s what it always is – you miss a couple shots, you turn it over a couple times and a 5, 6 point game ends up being 11, 12, 13 and that’s the deal.”

On Whether Portland Did Anything Differently Or Just Made Shots:
“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 Whether He Had A Number Of Minutes In Mind In The Fourth Quarter To Put Duncan & Parker Back In:
“Not a specific number, but just the way the game was going, the flow. It just didn’t happen.”

On Whether This Trip Was A Success Heading Back Home:
“Sure. You always want to win on the road in the playoffs and if you do, it’s a plus.”

On Ginobili Struggling From The Field:
“He hasn’t shot it well, but it’s just the way it is. Sometimes somebody doesn’t shoot well.”

On Whether Batum On Parker Threw Off The Game Plan:
“No, no, no. They played with great passion and physicality, as was evidenced at halftime even, with 10 fast break points, 7 offensive rebounds. They got the fifty-fifty balls. I think that continued to the same degree in the third quarter and that’s why they won.”

On Whether He Had Any Sense Before The Game:
“No, you never know what’s going to happen in an NBA game. You just go play and each one is different and you figure it out as you go. If you go in a locker room and you figure out what players are going to come out this way or that way, it’s a losing game. You’re usually wrong.”

On Energy & Physicality:
“We just didn’t match it. I don’t think that we had the energy, the focus. We didn’t accomplish our defensive tasks the way we had the first three games. Both mentally and physically, we played at a lower level than we have.”