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glove for his first goal of the season at

  • 26 Jul
    PORTLAND, Ore. [b]Channing Frye Cavaliers Jersey[/b] . -- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich took pains to make sure guard Tony Parker was well rested for the playoffs. "I barely played in April," Parker said. "I was joking with Pop if I was still with the Spurs." The break has paid off. Parker scored 29 points and San Antonio took a 3-0 lead in its Western Conference semifinal series against the Portland Trail Blazers with a 118-103 victory on Saturday night. Parker has scored 29 or more points in three of his last four playoff games. He had 20 points in the first half alone in Game 3 against Portland. "Hes been the engine for us," Popovich said. "He started out really well tonight. He made shots, he involved everybody else. He was playing great D at the other end. Hes really playing a whole complete game." The Spurs led by as many as 23 points in the first half, building a big early lead just as they had in the first two games of the series in San Antonio. "I think it just happened," Parker said of the third straight game with a big jump on Portland. "We just wanted to come in and have a good start, take care of the ball and play good defence like we did at home." The teams meet again on Monday night at the Moda Center. LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Portland, which pulled within eight points in the third quarter but couldnt get any closer. The Blazers were hurt by 15 turnovers and only six points from their bench. "Theyre just persistent," Aldridge said. "They play championship basketball and thats what we have to get to." No NBA team has come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a seven-game series. In 2003, the Blazers rebounded with three wins after dropping the first three against Dallas, but ultimately lost the first-round series deciding game. San Antonio, the top seed in the West, is vying for a second straight trip to the finals: Last season the Spurs fell to the Miami Heat in seven games. The winner of the series goes on to meet the winner of the conference semifinal between Oklahoma City and the Clippers. The Thunder lead that series 2-1. San Antonio has dominated this one. On Thursday night, the Spurs built a 20-point lead and won 114-97. The Spurs routed the Blazers 116-92 in the series opener after a hard-fought seven-game series against the Dallas Mavericks. The Blazers were without reserve guard Mo Williams, who has a groin injury. Williams played just 9 minutes in Game 2, and the Spurs backups outscored Portlands 50-19. Williams has consistently brought a spark and leadership off the bench the whole season, and has capably filled in while Lillard rests. Earl Watson and Will Barton helped spell starter Damian Lillard in Game 3. The Blazers took a brief 13-12 lead midway through the first quarter on Lillards step-back jumper. It was just their second lead of the series. But Parker pestered the Blazers and his finger-roll layup put the Spurs up 25-15. Marco Belinellis falling-down jumper pushed the lead to 28-17 before the first quarter was over. Parkers back-to-back 3-pointers gave the Spurs a 58-35 late first-half lead and they went into the break ahead 60-40. Portland rallied to start the second half, pulling to 64-52 after Nicolas Batums 3-pointer. He hit another 3 to narrow it to 68-60, but the Spurs kept the Blazers from coming any closer and led 83-69 going into the fourth. Parkers layup and free throw gave San Antonio a 100-81 lead in the fourth. Portland mounted a rally to get to 103-91 on Robin Lopezs layup with 5:46 left but it was too late. "Pop, you have to give him credit. He looked at the big picture, and rested me (the last month)," Parker said. "When we started the playoffs, he told me Be ready to play 37-38 minutes a game, were going to need you to play at your best. And so far its working." Portland advanced to the second round for the first time in 14 years by defeating the Houston Rockets in six games, clinching the series with Lillards amazing 3-pointer at the buzzer at home for a 99-98 victory in the deciding game. The Spurs have a 3-2 series advantage over Portland in the playoffs, sweeping the previous meeting in the 1999 conference finals. The teams split the regular-season series 2-2. NOTES: Before Game 2 in San Antonio, Blazers forward Thomas Robinson saw a snake in the locker room at the AT&T Center. Because the snake hissed, the team at first thought it was a rattlesnake, but it later turned out it was not venomous. So before Saturday nights game, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked if his team had seen any critters in the Moda Center: "We expected a Beaver but we didnt see one," he laughed. ... Tim Duncan moved past Karl Malone into fifth place all-time for career playoff points. He trails only Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille ONeal. [b]J.R. Smith Cavaliers Jersey[/b] . Bostons bats exploded in Mondays opener, as David Ortiz belted a pair of two-run homers, Stephen Drew homered and drove in four runs and the Red Sox pummeled the Blue Jays, 14-1. [b]John Henson Cavaliers Jersey[/b] . Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris, city natives, handled the catering for teammates that begged them for the tasty postgame feast.BOSTON - Bostons power play finally came through with two early goals Tuesday night.The other side of the Bruins special teams unit delivered in the end.Gregory Campbell netted the game-winner with less than 10 minutes remaining and the Bruins fended off a late four-minute San Jose power play to earn a wild 5-3 win over the Sharks.Our special teams tonight were really good for us and we really needed that against that team, said Boston coach Claude Julien.After twice squandering one-goal leads and overcoming a late deficit, the Bruins took the lead for good when Campbell tipped a pass from Daniel Paille through the legs of San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi with 9:18 left to play.But Patrice Bergeron drew a double-minor penalty with 4:09 remaining, leaving the Bruins short handed against one of the best power play units on the road this season.San Jose had converted on five of 15 chances entering the game, and added another one in the first period Tuesday.Bergy kills enough penalties for us, Campbell said, so its important for us to do that for him.Goaltender Tuukka Rask and Boston staved off the Sharks attack before David Krejci added an empty-netter with 24.5 seconds to go to seal the Bruins third win in four games.Its pretty huge from our group, especially when one of your best penalty killers is in the box for the last four minutes, Julien said. I thought our guys the last four minutes did an unbelievable job of battling through.Boston got contributions from nearly half of its roster, as nine different players recorded at least one point.Brad Marchand and Torey Krug scored power-play goals, Seth Griffith netted his first career NHL goal and Milan Lucic had three assists. Rask made 31 saves.Youve got to have everybody going because thats a deep team, a team that competes in a pretty tough conference, Campbell said. It helps when everybody can chip in.Logan Couture had two goals and Joe Thornton scored against his former team as San Jose finished its East Coast road trip at 2-2-1.Patrick Marleau added two assists and Niemi made 28 saves.We moved it around we just didnt gget many good looks, Couture said of the final four minutes. [b]Collin Sexton Cavaliers Jersey[/b]. When we had a shot, the puck bounced on us. We didnt get pucks through and I dont even know if we got a good quality scoring chance.The power play needed to get us one there and it let the team down.The Bruins came into the game ranked 20th in the league on the power play, converting on just three of 22 opportunities, but capitalized on their first one Tuesday when Marchands wrist shot sailed over Niemis glove for his first goal of the season at 13:57 of the opening period.We talk a lot about if you cant score goals you at least want to get some momentum. Krug said. Tonight its nice to actually see some of those go in.With Marchand in the box minutes later for a cross check, the Sharks answered on Coutures second of the season, a deflection off a wrist shot by Marleau at 16:28.Boston made it 2-for-2 on power plays 6:54 into the second period when Krug netted his second of the season on a wrist shot only eight seconds into the man advantage.After Couture tied it off a pass from Marleau with 3:45 left in the second, the Sharks struck again 37 seconds later on Thorntons second of the season.Thornton, who played seven full seasons for Boston before being traded to San Jose early in the 2005 season, batted Joe Pavelskis shot out of midair and past Rask for a 3-2 lead.Griffith then tied it 4:50 into the third, scooping up a loose puck in front of the net and beating Niemi to his glove side.NOTES: This marked the 31st meeting between the two teams, with Boston holding a 17-9-5 edge. . Last seasons game nearly one year ago in Boston, a 2-1 win by the Bruins, was decided on Krejcis game-winner with 0.8 seconds remaining. . Boston D Matt Bartkowski played in place of Kevin Miller, who is sidelined indefinitely after dislocating his right shoulder Saturday during a fight with Buffalos Nicolas Deslauriers. . San Jose F James Sheppard (knee) was activated before the game following a rehab assignment for Worcester of the AHL. . San Jose allowed a first-period goal for the first time this season. ' ' '