Spurs rout Blazers, 1 win away from conference finals

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Portland, Oregon: Tony Parker No.9 of the San Antonio Spurs drives to the basket on Robin Lopez No.42 of the Portland Trail Blazers in the second half of Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. AFP PHOTO

Portland, Oregon: Tony Parker No.9 of the San Antonio Spurs drives to the basket on Robin Lopez No.42 of the Portland Trail Blazers in the second half of Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. AFP PHOTO

PORTLAND: The San Antonio Spurs moved one win away from reaching the NBA Western Conference finals on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) with a dominant 118-103 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

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The Spurs, who had won the first two games of the best-of-seven second-round series at home, showed no let up at the shift to Portland and can complete a four-game sweep on Monday in Oregon.

San Antonio point guard Tony Parker scored a game-high 29 points. Tim Duncan added 19 for the Spurs, who needed seven games to subdue the tenacious Dallas Mavericks in the first round.

Against a young, talented Portland team, the veteran-led Spurs have made it look easy, winning game one by 24 points and by 17 in game two.

In their third rout, San Antonio made a perfect 25-for-25 from the free-throw line.

Kawhi Leonard tallied 16 points with 10 rebounds and Manu Ginobili netted 14 off the bench for San Antonio, who committed only seven turnovers while forcing 14.

Four Portland starters poured in 20 or more points apiece. But with reserve point guard Mo Williams sidelined by a groin injury, the Trail Blazers bench contributed just six points.

Wesley Matthews led Portland with 22 points. Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 apiece and Nicolas Batum scored 20 in the defeat.

Lillard, whose buzzer-beating three-pointer in game six of the first round eliminated the Houston Rockets, has struggled mightily from long range in this series.

Lillard made 23-of-47 against the Rockets but is 1-for-12 from three-point range against the Spurs.

Even if the Trail Blazers rediscover their touch, the team faces an uphill battle. No NBA team has ever come back to win a seven-game series after trailing 3-0.

AFP

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