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    Spurs outgun Trail Blazers to close in on playoff spot

    Apr 8, 2018

    SAN ANTONIO — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 28 points to help the San Antonio Spurs beat Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers, 116-105, on Saturday night (Sunday, Manila time).

    The Spurs (46-34) snapped a two-game losing streak. They are tied with Oklahoma City and New Orleans for fifth in the Western Conference, a half-game back of idle Utah.

    San Antonio can clinch a playoff spot with a victory over visiting Sacramento on Monday.

    Portland (48-32) dropped its third consecutive game and missed out on an opportunity to clinch home-court advantage in the first round. Lillard had 33 points for the Trail Blazers, and Evan Turner finished with 18.

    Former All-Star teammates Aldridge and Lillard dueled on a night when both teams shot well from the field.

    Lillard was 11 for 22, including 6 for 12 from beyond the arc.

    Aldridge made his first five shots, including a left-handed runner he seemed to throw up to rebound against the smaller double-team on him. He finished 13 for 22.

    Manu Ginobili gave San Antonio a needed boost, scoring 17 points on 7-for-7 shooting. Ginobili had back-to-back 3-pointers followed by a right-handed layup against Al-Farouq Aminu to turn a four-point game into a 101-89 lead.

    Dejounte Murray finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio.

    The Spurs outscored the Blazers 12-5 in the opening 5 minutes of the second half.

    Turner departed in the final minute with a cut along his right brow caused by an inadvertent blow by Murray on a rebound.

    C.J. McCollum added 17 points for the Blazers, who have lost three straight.

    Continue reading below ↓

    TIP-INS

    Trail Blazers: CJ McCollum scored 17 points, and Jusuf Nurkic had 12 points and 12 rebounds. ... Nurkic received a technical foul with 36.4 seconds left in the first half for yelling at official Curtis Blair for a foul assessed to him on a drive by Murray. ... Maurice Harkless missed his seventh straight game with an injured left knee. ... Ed Davis missed his fourth straight game due to an injured right ankle.

    Spurs: Pau Gasol played in his 1,194th career game, moving past Alex English for 42nd in league history. ... Danny Green was assessed his first technical foul of the season with 10:40 remaining in the first half. After missing a layup, Green began jumping and clapping his hands angrily because no foul was called on Meyers Leonard. ... The Spurs hold an 84-82 lead against the Trail Blazers in their overall series.

    UP NEXT

    Trail Blazers: Visit Denver on Monday night.

    Spurs: Host Sacramento on Monday night.

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