Pierce fouls James as he drives through the lane to score in the first period. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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San Antonio put one foot into the NBA Western Conference finals with a 118-103 win at Portland Saturday to take a 3-0 lead in their series, while Brooklyn avoided slipping to the same deficit by defeating Miami. Tony Parker scored 29 points for the Spurs, who built a big early lead – just as they had in the opening two games of the series – by going 23 points up on the Trail Blazers in the first half, and controlled the game from there.Joe Johnson scored 19 points and Andray Blatche had career playoff highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets.The Heat had not even faced a fourth-quarter deficit in these playoffs and won their previous four games by double digits, but the Nets shook off the Heat's sizzling start, then held them to 33 points over the middle two quarters to take control.
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