PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Portland Trail Blazers stopped a
frustrating losing streak with a surprising win.
Beset by injuries, the Trail Blazers snapped a six-game skid and
won for only the third time in 17 games. They shot 56 percent and
kept the Spurs at bay when San Antonio tried to rally in the second
"It was a gutsy game," Portland coach Maurice Cheeks said.
Tim Duncan had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs, who were
coming off a 103-73 win over Sacramento on Sunday night.
Tony Parker added 20 points and seven assists.
"(The Blazers) came in here and played and played and played,
got a lead and confidence and kept making shots," Duncan said.
"That was the situation we put ourselves in and we couldn't get
out of the hole."
Stoudamire hit a falling-away 3-pointer with 21 seconds left to
give Portland a six-point lead.
"Sometimes you have to step up to the challenge when you are
playing the best," Stoudamire said. "San Antonio is a great team;
they beat a good Sacramento team by 30 last night. We were just
hoping to catch them on a back-to-back."
Devin Brown had 20 points off the bench for the Spurs (34-10),
who had won four straight.
The Blazers won despite playing without leading scorer and
rebounder Zach Randolph (bruised knee) and forward Shareef
Abdur-Rahim (elbow surgery). In addition, guard Derek Anderson, who
lost his starting job earlier this month, sat out with a tooth
problem and forward James Thomas didn't play because of a bruised
Portland's losing streak was its longest since 2001-02, Cheeks'
first season as coach.
"We've been struggling, but the one constant is that we have
been playing hard," Przybilla said. "It paid off with a big win
Manu Ginobili made a 3-pointer with 2:54 left to pull the Spurs
to 95-91, but Miles, who scored 14 in the fourth quarter, hit a
jumper and then caught an alley-oop from Stoudamire for a dunk.
The Spurs didn't go away. Parker's driving layup cut the lead to
four again, but Stoudamire's 3 sealed it.
Portland maintained a lead throughout much of the third quarter
despite the ejection of guard Nick Van Exel at 7:32.
Ginobili made both technical foul shots and Portland lost the
lead. But the Blazers, who had 26 assists and only 11 turnovers,
went on a 5-0 run.
The Blazers led by seven early in the fourth, but San Antonio
went on a 7-2 run that Parker capped with two free throws to get
the Spurs to 84-82.
The Spurs, who beat Portland by 34 points on Dec. 30, came out
confused and flat early. Duncan hit only three of his first nine
Portland made 13 of its first 16 shots and scored 20 points in
the paint in the first quarter to take a 30-20 lead.
The Spurs quickly got back in the game, going on a 14-2 run to
open the second quarter and take the lead. Ginobili beat the
halftime buzzer with a 3 to give San Antonio a 47-46 lead.
Eva Longoria from the ABC show "Desperate Housewives,"
who is rumored to be dating Parker, attended the game. ...
Przybilla hit his first seven shots and had his second big
performance in a week. He had 17 points and 22 rebounds against
Sacramento on Jan. 18.
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