Sound of the game -- clang!
Blazers set playoff-record low with 19 field goals made
Posted: Saturday June 05, 1999 02:10 AM
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- For the first time this season, boos rained down on the Portland Trail Blazers instead of the red and black confetti that has followed so many victories at the Rose Garden.
The Blazers were so awful in an 85-63 Game 3 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night that they didn't even bother to argue with the catcalls.
"I guess if I was a fan and I paid my good money, and I watched basketball like that, I would have booed too," said Blazers point guard Damon Stoudamire, who scored two points on 1-of-12 shooting. "I didn't play worth a damn tonight, and they have every right to boo."
The Blazers led 26-22 after the first quarter, and for the first half looked in good shape to win the game and pull within 2-1 for the series. But an eight-point third quarter turned a mediocre night into a historically bad one.
Portland made an NBA playoff record-low 19 baskets and shot only 25 percent. The 63 points were second-worst in league postseason history.
"I don't think it's a matter of quitting," backup point guard Greg Anthony said. "I think maybe the spirit was killed at times. A lot of that has to go to the San Antonio Spurs. But it's just unfortunate that this game was played the way it was from our perspective."
Stoudamire heard a few boos before the game even started, from fans angry over his complaints this week over what he sees as a lack of playing time in the fourth quarter.
Among other things, Stoudamire said he would never forget the times he's sat out crucial minutes in favor of Anthony. He also said at times he's regretted his decision to sign a seven-year, $81 million contract extension to stay in his hometown.
"[Considering] the timing of what I said this week, I'd probably take it back," Stoudamire said Friday night. "That looked as if it was one of the reasons why the team was not as focused tonight."
Despite shooting under 30 percent in the first half, Portland trailed just 40-38 to start the third quarter. But just when the Blazers needed a surge, they got a slump instead.
A hook shot by Sabonis pulled the Blazers within 48-46 with 6:56 to go in the quarter. From there, Portland missed its last nine shots of the quarter, and the Spurs went on a 16-0 run for a 64-46 lead entering the fourth.
The Blazers had shown a tendency to flatline on offense. In Game 1 of the conference semifinals against Utah, Portland scored just five points in the fourth quarter of an 83-73 loss, the fewest points ever in a postseason quarter.
The only thing the Blazers had working was Rasheed Wallace, but his productivity was limited by foul trouble.
Wallace appeared to be off to a charmed night on the first possession. With the shot clock running down, Wallace tracked down a loose ball and, in the same motion, swished a 23-footer at the horn.
Wallace scored 14 points of his 22 points in the first half on 5-of-7 shooting, but he played only 14 minutes because he picked up his second foul with 6:35 left in the first quarter.
When Wallace wasn't shooting his high jumpers or dunking, the Blazers were inept. The rest of the team shot just 6-of-30 in the first half.
Wallace's fourth foul came on the offensive end with 9:53 left in the third. At the time, Portland trailed only 44-42. When he came back, with 3:02 left, the Blazers were down 56-46.
"Right now, Sheed is the only one playing well," Rider said. "The rest of us are not matching his intensity."
Anthony didn't mince words about the Blazers' chances.
"Let's not kid ourselves," he said. "We have a lot of wounds that we have to lick, and a lot of pride that we have to rebuild."
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