Lillard: Belief in ourselves
SAN ANTONIO -- It just has to be so frustrating for the Portland Trail Blazers. As talented as they are and as hard as they play, it isn't mattering so much against the seasoned San Antonio Spurs.
Portland was thumped by 17 points Thursday night and is now in a position that it must win both upcoming home games against the Spurs to have a shot at staying in the thing past five games.
And that isn't going to be easy, even at home. San Antonio shot 53.3 percent from the field and 60 percent from three-point range. They did a terrific job on Portland's two all-stars, holding LaMarcus Aldridge to 16 points on 23 shots and Damian Lillard to 19 points on 20 shots. In the fourth quarter, when Portland had trimmed a healthy Spurs lead to 8, the Trail Blazers needed a three-point field goal in the worst way but couldn't find one as San Antonio ran them off the three-point line.
It's all about the excellence of execution in San Antonio. And these Spurs are a machine right now -- a better-looking and more balanced outfit than the one that should have won a title last season.
For the second game in a row, the Spurs controlled the game entirely. They got the shots they wanted and forced Portland into poor ones. They ran when they wanted but then in the second half milked the clock down on almost every possession when the Trail Blazers needed every second to notch a comeback. It was another masterful performance that made you wonder about Portland's chances to win even one game.
It won't take long to find out about that. The series resumes Saturday night in the Moda Center and the Trail Blazers must play better -- as as I've said from the start -- and hope the Spurs don't bring their best game.
We've already seen what San Antonio's best game can do to the Trail Blazers.
And it's not a pretty sight.