Heading into Game 1 Tim Duncan had as much playoff experience as all of the fifth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers (219 postseason games). On Thursday it looked like the opener all over again during the first half as the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs scored 70 en route to a 114-97 victory.
San Antonio dumped Portland 116-92 to begin the Western Conference Semifinals. Unlike Tuesday where the Blazers played marginally better than the Spurs on the scoreboard after intermission, Portland put a scare into San Antonio cutting a 20-point deficit to eight due to heightened defensive intensity.
Still the Spurs were able to escape via their own defensive tenacity and a late surge to close Game 2. After the Trail Blazers crept within 99-91 midway through the fourth quarter, San Antonio went on a 13-2 run to take a 2-0 series lead.