The game had a very familiar start, as the Blazers couldn't find the net, while giving up easy shots and offensive rebounds. But the Blazers hung close, as the Spurs weren't quite as hot from the field as previous games. Portland took off on an 8-0 run to take a 3 point lead, but San Antonio settled down and regained the lead, but Will Barton and Thomas Robinson combined to tie it at 19 as the quarter came to an end.
The Spurs had their usual second-quarter surge despite the disappearance of Tony Parker. Their lead reached 9 at the halfway point. Then the wheels came off, just like in Games 1-3, as San Antonio simply dominated to take a fairly easy 15 point lead. Again. But the Blazers struck back late, closing the deficit to 7 with a late run heading into halftime.
With word coming from the locker room that Parker was done for the night, Portland took advantage by promptly giving up 8 straight points to open the quarter. The Blazers looked unprepared, giving up loose balls and easy layups. Again. Soon the Spurs lead was 18, and Game 5 looked incredibly familiar. Regardless of Parker's status, Portland just didn't have enough against the well-oiled Spurs machine, and they easily dominated the quarter to finish with a 14 point lead.
It didn't take long for San Antonio to push the lead to 20 over the clearly out-played Blazers. Then it was 23. This script was well-known, and soon the players were simply playing out the string, as the Blazers' starters heads lowered, their shoulders slumped, and the minutes clicked down on their season. The bench finished off one of the most unexpected seasons in Blazer history.
It's over. [pauses and sighs] You know I'm glad. I need the rest.
-- Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard, "The Fugitive (1993)"
Big sigh. The long night that is the offseason begins, effective immediately. But before the season, would you really have complained if it ended on May 14th?
Stay tuned though. Ben is onsite with a Media Row Report, and Dave will have plenty of analysis later as well.
Gameday Thread Comments of the Night!
Thanks to everyone who hung out in this season's Gameday Threads! As we close up for the season (until draft night, then free agency, then Summer League...), here's a look at tonight's most popular comments, based on number of recs: