The Blazers picked up their defense in the first quarter, and looked significantly more ready for San Antonio's intensity. Despite poor shooting, they held within three after one quarter. They pulled within 1 as the second quarter opened, then promptly gave up 7 straight points to Boris Diaw and Kawhi Leonard. Then the three-pointers started falling like they were shooting into the ocean. Portland called timeout, down 12, and the game started to feel familiar. Then yet another three for a 15 point lead. Feeling very familiar. Then 18 points. The Spurs found every loose ball, hit 6-7 three pointers, and outscored the Blazers 25-10 in the first half of the quarter. It was disastrous for both the Blazers and their fans. The Blazers gave up 41 POINTS in the second quarter to fall behind by 19 at halftime.
The second half opened with Nicolas Batum dribbling the ball of Robin Lopez's foot. San Antonio calmly and easily kept the lead around 20 until Portland cut it to 12 with 2 minutes left in the third. The Spurs attempted to pull away late, taking a 16 point lead to the fourth quarter. Portland cut it to 10 early in the fourth quarter, and cut it to single digits with just under 7 minutes left, then 8 with under 5 minutes left. But San Antonio exploited Portland's defense and maintained control, and held on for another relatively easy victory.
The teams travel to Portland, where the series picks up for Game 3 Saturday night.
In the meantime, stay tuned for Dave's analysis of tonight's game, and Ben's sure-to-be-fascinating Media Row Report, live from San Antonio.
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