- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - After nearly falling on their face in the opening round of the playoffs, the San Antonio Spurs found their footing Tuesday night and ran the Portland Trail Blazers off the court.

Tony Parker had 33 points and nine assists and San Antonio never trailed in a resounding 116-92 victory over Portland, bullying the younger Trail Blazers in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

“He’s been doing that for a lot of years,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “It’s nothing different. He’s the guy that’s our attack guy. (He) creates for everybody and starts the offense. He’s also played very good defense this year and most people don’t really see that.”

Parker, who had 32 points in Game 7 against Dallas, scored 13 points in the first quarter on a series of drives and capped it with a corner 3 as San Antonio built a 10-point lead 8 minutes into the game.


The Spurs never led by less than 20 in the second half.

“They did what championship teams do,” Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge said. “They came out and set the tone early. Most of the guys on (Portland‘s) team haven’t even been in the second round and they’ve won championships. They’ve been here. I think they definitely came out and they let us know how it’s going to be.”

Kawhi Leonard had 16 points and Tim Duncan added 12 points and 11 rebounds for San Antonio.

More importantly for the Spurs, their bench contributed mightily after being virtually nonexistent in the series against Dallas.

Marco Belinelli had 19 points and the Australian connection of Aron Baynes and Patty Mills had 10 points apiece.

“We came out swinging, caught them with a few early punches and they were on their back heel at that point,” Baynes said. “It was good for us that we came out like that but now we have to maintain it.”

The Spurs had their most complete game of the postseason, playing with the flair and fluidity that resulted in the league’s best regular-season record.

“I think Game 7 (against Dallas) gave us a lot of confidence for our team,” Parker said. “I think team wise we played our best game in Game 7. I think tonight was a little bit of the same thing. Defensively, it was one of our best games because Portland has a lot of shooters, a lot of scorers.”

Portland, meanwhile, didn’t come close to resembling the confident and sharp-shooting group that upset Houston in the opening round.

Aldridge had 32 points and 14 rebounds and Damian Lillard had 17 points for Portland, but the All-Star duo combined for just 17 points in the first half as San Antonio built a 26-point lead.

“They knew where we were going to do (plays),” Aldridge said. “They tried to deny guys on certain sets. They tried to force guys to their weak hand. They did what good teams do. I think guys are going to learn from it.”

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