After nearly falling on their face in the opening round of the playoffs, the San Antonio Spurs found their footing Tuesday night and ran the Portland Trail Blazers off the court.
Tony Parker had 33 points and nine assists and San Antonio never trailed in a resounding 116-92 victory over Portland, bullying the younger Trail Blazers in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.
“He’s been doing that for a lot of years,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “It’s nothing different. He’s the guy that’s our attack guy. (He) creates for everybody and starts the offense. He’s also played very good defense this year and most people don’t really see that.”
Parker, who had 32 points in Game 7 against Dallas, scored 13 points in the first quarter on a series of drives and capped it with a corner 3 as San Antonio built a 10-point lead 8 minutes into the game.
The Spurs never led by less than 20 in the second half.
“They did what championship teams do,” Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge said. “They came out and set the tone early. Most of the guys on (Portland’s) team haven’t even been in the second round and they’ve won championships. They’ve been here. I think they definitely came out and they let us know how it’s going to be.”
Kawhi Leonard had 16 points and Tim Duncan added 12 points and 11 rebounds for San Antonio.