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Batum beats the buzzer as Blazers edge Spurs

Mar 26, 2011 - 7:14 AM Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Nicolas Batum's alley-oop tip-in at the buzzer gave Portland a 98-96 win over San Antonio at the Rose Garden.

Portland trailed by six points, 96-90, with just over a minute to play, but Andre Miller put in a layup and, after misses at both ends, he stripped the ball from Tony Parker and put in a layup with 30.5 seconds to play.

Manu Ginobili then lost the ball and Batum was fouled with 0.9 seconds to play, making both free throws to tie the game.

Steve Novak threw the ball out of bounds, giving Portland a chance for the win and the team took advantage as Miller sent up a pass to the rim and Batum put it home for the victory.

"Perfect timing," Blazers head coach Nate McMillan said. "I thought Miller made the right pass and put it right in front of the rim and all Nic had to do was catch it an put it in the hole."

Miller and Batum each had 21 points as Miller added eight assists and six rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who have won five of six to stay a half-game ahead of New Orleans for the sixth spot in the Western Conference.

Ginobili had 21 points and seven assists and Parker had 15 points, but eight turnovers as the Spurs lost back-to-back games for the first time since dropping two in a row at New York and Boston on January 4-5.

San Antonio now holds a five-game lead over the Lakers for the top spot in the Western Conference and a 6 1/2-game lead over Dallas for the top spot in the Southwest Division.

"Lots of things happen that help you win and help you lose," San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich said. "There are a lot of things in games that happen, an down the stretch is the most important time."

A 10-0 run in the latter stages of the first quarter helped the Spurs take a 28-24 lead after 12 minutes. Portland was able to keep it close in the second quarter and held a one-point lead, but Matt Bonner hit a three near the buzzer and San Antonio took a 49-47 lead into the break.

A 15-3 run in the third quarter saw Portland surge ahead, but San Antonio got the final two buckets of the frame to cut its deficit to 73-70 heading into the final frame.

San Antonio scored 11 straight points in the fourth with George Hill's shot giving the team an 81-75 lead with just over eight minutes to play, but a 12-3 run a bit later saw Portland get back into the game as Batum's two free throws with 2:14 got Portland to within one point, 91-90.

Game Notes

Portland hits the road for the next three games starting on Sunday in Oklahoma City...The Spurs wrap up the three-game road trip in Memphis on Sunday...Portland won two of the three matchups this season and has won seven of the last eight meetings.