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San Antonio spurs win 8th straight game
(Agencies)
Updated: 2004-04-10 14:37

Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili each scored 21 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs to their eighth straight win, 84-74 over Portland on Friday night.

Ginobili had 18 of his points in the first half when the Spurs shot 58 percent to build a 20-point advantage that the Trail Blazers didn't seriously challenge until the fourth quarter.

Portland dropped into a three-way tie with Utah and Denver for the eighth and final playoff berth in the West.

The Blazers pulled to 73-66 on a 3-pointer by Derek Anderson with about five minutes left. Tony Parker then scored on a drive, and Duncan fed Rasho Nesterovic for a dunk to return the Spurs' lead to double digits.

Nesterovic added 16 points on 8-for-10 shooting, and Bruce Bowen had 12. Duncan led all rebounders with 14 and Nesterovic had 11.

Zach Randolph scored 21 points to pace Portland, which had won seven of its previous 10. Anderson had 13 eight of them in the fourth and Darius Miles 10.

Ginobili started carrying the Spurs moments after he entered the game late in the first quarter.

He hit a 3-pointer from the wing to begin a 16-6 burst that gave San Antonio a 31-17 lead after one. Ginobili scored 10 of the points on the run, including another 3-pointer, and fed Duncan for a dunk.

The Spurs made their first four attempts in the second one of them Ginobili's third 3-pointer to go up 41-21 with nine minutes left.

Portland trimmed the difference to 41-29 with a run capped by Anderson's 3-pointer with 5:26 remaining. But the Blazers managed only a pair of free throws by Shareef Abdur-Rahim and a layup by Damon Stoudamire before halftime.

Ginobili scored San Antonio's final two baskets before the break, the second on a full-court drive and a layup over Abdur-Rahim at the buzzer to make it 52-33.

Notes:@ The teams play again Monday night in Portland. ... The Spurs have lost at home only once in 15 games since the All-Star break. That loss was by one point to Memphis on March 1. ... Randolph made his first 3-pointer of the season on a shot-clock-beating heave in the first quarter.

 
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