SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs continued rolling against the elite teams they struggled against early in the season, using a balanced attack to beat the Portland Trail Blazers for their eighth straight victory.
Patty Mills scored 15 points, Tim Duncan had 10 points and 11 rebounds in limited minutes, and San Antonio trailed for only 11 seconds late in the first quarter of a 103-90 victory over Portland on Wednesday night.
Since the All-Star break, the Spurs (48-16) have beaten the Trail Blazers twice and also defeated the Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago and Miami. They were 1-11 in the season's first half against the East's top two teams and remaining top five in the West.
"We're getting a rhythm," San Antonio point guard Tony Parker said. "You don't want to peak too early, but we're playing good basketball. Hopefully we can keep it going and stay healthy. The most important, like everybody knows, is the playoffs."
Damian Lillard had 23 points for Portland (42-23), which lost LaMarcus Aldridge to a bruised back early in the second half.
Aldridge's status is unknown after X-rays on his back were negative. He was taken to the locker room and X-ray room in a wheelchair.
San Antonio's bench outscored Portland's 46-23, enabling coach Gregg Popovich to limit Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili to less than 30 minutes.
The Spurs' Big 3 tied Magic Johnson, Michael Cooper and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers for second all-time as a trio in total victories (490) and games played (663) as a trio.
"It's remarkable," Ginobili said. "We were not thinking about that in the game and I guess we're going to win a few more. But even if you didn't tell me that stat, we know we're in a very unique position and situation. Having played together for 12 seasons with the same coach; it doesn't happen very often in the league and with that stat you can tell. Very proud of what we've accomplished; what we're accomplishing."
The trio achieved the feat using the same formula San Antonio has employed this season — aggressive defense and ball movement.
Danny Green added 14 points for the Spurs, Ginobili scored 13, Kawhi Leonard had 12, and Tiago Splitter had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
San Antonio had 21 assists and only 12 turnovers.
The Spurs held the Trail Blazers to 38.6 shooting and was 4 for 21 on 3s.
"I thought defense was good," Popovich said. "Obviously they missed LaMarcus in the second half. So that was a really tough break for them. I hope he's going to come back quickly. He's a hell of player and nobody wants to see that."
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