Fans tuning into Game 4 of the San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trail Blazers match up on Monday night had to do a double take when glancing at the score in first quarter: with 5:06 left on the clock, the Trail Blazers, who had sleepwalked through the first three games, were ahead 18-14. Anyone could count the times Portland managed to slink ahead of the first-seeded San Antonio on one hand, so fans were placed in an odd juxtaposition. This was a fluke, considering the way Portland “played” the previous three games (regardless of the fact that the Blazers are 3-1 in Game 4s when trailing a series, which most people tend to forget). Regardless of their 2-for-11 shooting from the 3-point line, the Blazers were bellicose and managed to take the first half 50-48.
Their momentum didn’t stop when they emerged from the locker room either. Portland dominated the court with an energy they lacked in the first three games, and San Antonio just couldn’t keep up. They improved from the 3 (both Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum nailed a pair) and outscored the Spurs 35-20 in order to push into the fourth quarter leading 85-68.
The Spurs just couldn’t catch up after the Blazers’ third quarter spurge and fell to the supposed underdogs 103-92. This Portland win snapped a 9-game losing streak to the Spurs in postseason play. Guard Damian Lillard topped Portland’s chart with 25 points, followed by LaMarcus Aldridge (19 points) and Batum (14 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists). Tony Parker’s 14 points led the Spurs, followed by Tim Duncan’s 12 points.
Never count the team with nothing to lose out.
The series moves back to San Antonio Wednesday afternoon.