Tony Parker has long been Nicolas Batum’s friend and mentor, both on the French national team and in their NBA careers. So it was understandable after Batum’s dominance in Game 4 of the playoff series between the San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trail Blazers that the Spurs’ veteran point guard cracked a smile when asked if he had a part in his pal’s success. Batum had 14 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists in the Trail Blazers’ 103-92 victory Monday night. Portland avoided elimination and narrowed the series to 3-1, sending it back to San Antonio for Game 5 tonight ( 6:30, TNT). No NBA team has ever rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series. – AP
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