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Spurs can close out Blazers in San Antonio

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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