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Spurs 118, Trail Blazers 103

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Guard Tony Parker scored 29 points as the San Antonio Spurs whipped the Portland Trail Blazers 118-103 Saturday night at the Moda Center.

Forward Tim Duncan collected 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Spurs, who took a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series that continues in Portland on Monday night.

Five players scored in double figures for San Antonio, including forward Kawhi Leonard with 16 points, guard Manu Ginobili with 14 and guard Patty Mills with 10.

Four players scored 20 or more points for the Trail Blazers. Guard Wesley Matthews led the way with 22. Guard Damian Lillard and forward LaMarcus Aldridge each had 21 and Nicolas Batum had 20 to go with nine rebounds and seven assists.

San Antonio’s bench outscored the Portland reserves 40-6.

The Spurs, behind 20 points on 9-for-12 shooting from Parker, held a 60-40 edge at halftime. The Spurs shot .558 from the field, including 5-for-12 from 3-point range, and were 7-for-7 at the line. The Blazers shot only .375 and had 10 turnovers, leading to 17 San Antonio points.

Portland quickly made a run, outscoring San Antonio 17-4 in the first five minutes of the third quarter to draw with 64-57. The Spurs righted themselves to go back in front 72-60 and carried an 83-69 advantage into the final period.

When Parker and Leonard converted back-to-back three-point plays, San Antonio’s lead was 103-81 lead with 7:43 to play, and the Blazers seemed in big trouble. But they scored the game’s next 10 points to cut it to 103-91 with still 5:46 on the clock. It was as close as they would get.

San Antonio got off to a hot start, taking leads of 6-0 and 10-3. Portland rallied with a 10-2 run to go in front 13-12. The Spurs, with Parker in the lead, regained control, finishing the quarter on a 16-5 tear to take a 28-18 advantage into the second period. Parker had 12 points on 6-for-8 shooting in the quarter.

The Spurs stoked the lead to 58-35 late in the second quarter and took a 20-point lead into intermission.

NOTES: After winning the first two games of the series at home, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was asked how much homecourt advantage helps in the playoffs. “I don’t know, and neither does anybody else,” Popovich said. “There’s no way you can calculate that empirically. But you wouldn’t give it away. ” The Spurs lost eight of their last nine regular-season visits to Portland, however, dating to 2008. … The Trail Blazers will be without sixth-man G Mo Williams, out with a strained groin. Coach Terry Stotts said veteran Earl Watson will back up starting PG Damian Lillard, “though I don’t know how much Earl will play alongside Damian like Mo does.” Sure to get more minutes off the bench is G Will Barton, who has average 11.0 points and made eight of nine shots from the field.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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