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Spurs Beaten by Trail Blazers in Game 4, Lead Series 3-1

The San Antonio Spurs were defeated by the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 4 of their best of seven semifinal series in the NBA Western Conference Monday night.

The Spurs had won the first three games of the series and had their brooms out for the sweep only to be defeated on the road in a strong effort by Portland.

The 103-92 win on Monday night proved to Portland that they are capable of defeating the Spurs. San Antonio is characterized by its depth, execution and ability to take advantage of opponent’s mistakes.

However, Game 4 had a different tone from the onset. Portland, which only led for 33 seconds over the first three games of the series, scored first in the game and held an advantage for almost all of the first half.

However, by the half, San Antonio trailed by only two points after shaking off a number of great plays by Portland.

In the third quarter, Robin Lopez and Nicolas Batum the Trail Blazers new center and small but versatile forward used great execution on the pick and roll to help the Blazers pull away from the Spurs.

In the third quarter alone, Batum scored 7 points and had 4 assists, while Lopez scored 8 points.

Batum had one of his best games of the series scoring 14 points, pulling down 14 rebounds and dishing off 8 assists on Monday.

Batum also had to play defense against the talented Tony Parker and held the point guard to just 14 points on the night. Parker in Games 1 through 3 averaged 26 points a game.

Mo Williams missed his second straight game for Portland, but San Antonio could not take advantage. The Spurs bench did not have the same success in Game 4 as they have had the previous three games. Although, the Spurs bench did out score the Portland bench by 14 points.

The Spurs trailed by 19 points with 6:47 left in the fourth when coach Gregg Popovich pulled the plug by going deep into his reserves. Tim Duncan and Parker did not play during the fourth quarter.

Now the series heads to San Antonio for Game 5 on Wednesday. Portland will need another exceptional game from its players especially playing on the Spurs home court.

Over course, they still need to win two straight just to force a Game 7 and overcome history. No team in the postseason history of the NBA has overcome a 0-3 deficit to win a seven game series.

The Portland players know about the long streak that is against them, but have said since the end of Game 3 that history needs to be made at some point and why not now.

Look for a different Spurs team on Wednesday. San Antonio will play with more fire and more energy as they will not want to return to Portland for Game 6.

The other semifinal in the West is now tied 2-2 and a win by San Antonio in Game 5 would give them more time to rest until the start of the Western Conference finals.

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