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Miller lifts Trail Blazers over Spurs

Mar 29, 2011 - 4:48 AM San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Andre Miller had 26 points to help Portland beat San Antonio for the second time in the past four days with a 100-92 win.

Portland had defeated San Antonio, 98-96, on Nicolas Batum's alley-oop tip-in at the buzzer on Friday in Portland and Monday's win helped the club snap a four-game road losing streak.

The Trail Blazers pushed their lead over idle New Orleans to one game for the sixth spot in the Western Conference and they now trail Denver by 1 1/2 games for the fifth spot. Portland and New Orleans both have eight games to play while Denver has a game in hand on both teams.

Wesley Matthews had 19 points and five rebounds while Batum added 10 points and 13 boards for the Trail Blazers, who have won three of their last four.

San Antonio saw its lead for the top spot in the Western Conference and the NBA over the Lakers, who have a game in hand, shrink to 3 1/2 games. Also, San Antonio's lead over Dallas dropped to 4 1/2 games for first place in the Southwest Division. The Mavericks also have a game in hand over the Spurs.

George Hill totaled 27 points and six assists and Tiago Splitter added 14 points and nine boards for the Spurs, who have lost four straight games since losing Tim Duncan to a sprained left ankle last Monday against Golden State.

San Antonio also played the game without guards Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. Ginobili sat out the game with a left quad contusion he suffered in Sunday's win over Memphis while Parker is suffering from a left patella contusion.

"It was a great game," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. "I thought our players were fantastic, super competitive and communicated well. We just didn't shoot the ball very well, from three or from the line."

The Blazers trailed by seven points with just over seven minutes to play, but Miller's layup sparked a 13-0 run that was capped on a Gerald Wallace three- pointer with two minutes to play for an 87-81 lead.

The Spurs never got to within one possession the rest of the way.

"You throw in some scrappy players like they have, their whole team is good, and an opportunity for those guys and they play great basketball," said Portland head coach Nat McMillan. "Our guys coming off of a back-to-back -- it was a gut check for us in the fourth quarter and having to refocus in that fourth quarter and make stops."

Portland jumped out to an early lead in the game and held a 28-22 advantage at the end of 12 minutes on a Wallace three-pointer near the buzzer.

The Trail Blazers continued to maintain their lead throughout the second quarter and held a 58-51 lead going into the break.

A poor third quarter for Portland saw the team score just nine points and San Antonio used the frame to surge ahead as the team closed the stanza with the final seven points with Gary Neal's jumper with under a minute to play giving the team a 72-67 advantage heading to the fourth.

Game Notes

Portland plays at New Orleans on Wednesday...San Antonio, which is an NBA-best 33-4 at home this season, hosts Boston on Thursday...Portland took three of four from San Antonio this season...Wallace had 14 points and seven rebounds in the win.