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Mills guides Spurs to tight win at Blazers

February 20, 2014

PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — San Antonio’s Patty Mills again proved himself to be the Spurs’ secret weapon as he led the visitors to a 111-109 win at Portland in Wednesday’s clash of NBA Western Conference contenders.

A day after he guided San Antonio to a win over another contender in the Los Angeles Clippers, Australian Mills was the standout again for the Spurs, coming off the bench to score 24 points in the second half.

The day’s best individual performance came from Kevin Love who dominated in Minnesota’s win over Eastern Conference leader Indiana, while other key results saw Chicago edge Atlantic Division leader Toronto, and Houston made it eight straight wins by downing the struggling Los Angeles Lakers.

San Antonio pulled off a creditable win at Portland without veterans Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, and was also without injured Kawhi Leonard.

Mills made up for their absence, finishing with 29 points in all, while Marco Belinelli hit a a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:34 remaining and finished with 20 points.

Damian Lillard scored 31 points for Portland, which played without its leading scorer and rebounder LaMarcus Aldridge, who was out with a groin injury.

Minnesota’s Kevin Love had 42 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Timberwolves to a 104-91 win over Indiana.

It was Love’s eighth straight game with at least 25 points and 10 rebounds, the longest streak since Shaquille O’Neal in 2004-05. Love has an NBA-best 14 games with 30 points and 10 rebounds this season.

Ricky Rubio added a career-high 17 assists as the Wolves took control early.

Paul George led Indiana with 35 points, but managed just two in the fourth quarter as the Pacers trailed throughout.

Chicago made it four-straight wins by edging Toronto 94-92.

Carlos Boozer scored 20 points for the Bulls and D.J. Augustin had 19 against his former team.

DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 32 points but had a couple of key misses at the end. Toronto won its previous three.

Houston’s Dwight Howard thoroughly enjoyed his visit to the team he left as a free agent after one tumultuous and contentious season, getting 20 points and 13 rebounds as the Rockets beat the Lakers 134-108.

Houston’s eight-game streak is its best since a franchise-record, 22-game run in 2007-08.

James Harden scored 11 of his 29 points in the final 1:25 of the third quarter and added 11 assists.

Wesley Johnson scored 24 points for Los Angeles.

Washington almost blew a 20-point lead against Atlanta but steadied to win 114-97.

John Wall scored 21 points while Trevor Ariza and Bradley Beal had 19 each for the Wizards, who had lost on their previous 11 visits to Atlanta.

Paul Millsap had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks, who made a third-quarter charge to twice cut the deficit to one point.

Phoenix had six players in double figures in beating Boston 100-94.

Markieff Morris scored 18 points while Goran Dragic and Gerald Green added 17 points apiece for the Suns, who took the lead for good with a 17-0 second-half run, then used free throws to hold off the Celtics at the end.

Rajon Rondo had 18 points and 10 assists for Boston.

Golden State held off Sacramento 101-92 in a clash of two undermanned teams, with David Lee having 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors.

Charlotte beat Detroit for the second straight night, winning 116-98, with Al Jefferson scoring 29 points.

Brooklyn notched its first win in Utah for six years, beating the Jazz 105-99, with Joe Johnson scoring 27 points.

New York’s Carmelo Anthony capped a 42-point performance with three clutch baskets in the last two minutes, guiding the Knicks to a 98-91 win over New Orleans and ending a run of three-straight losses.

Cleveland won its sixth-straight game by downing Orlando 101-93, with Kyrie Irving scoring 22 points.

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