Duncan, Spurs make it 10 in a row

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)—After taking some good-natured ribbing over his alma mater’s success earlier in the day, Tim Duncan went right to work against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Duncan had 26 points and 10 rebounds for his league-leading 23rd double-double this season, and the San Antonio Spurs extended their winning streak to 10 games with a 101-91 victory Saturday night over the Blazers.

When Duncan walked on to the court to start the game, the Wake Forest alum was chided by Portland’s Jeff McInnis and Rasheed Wallace, both products of North Carolina.

Earlier in the day, No. 19 Wake Forest had upset No. 4 North Carolina with a 119-114 triple-overtime victory.

“Walking into the circle, they said, `Don’t say a word,”’ Duncan laughed. “And I didn’t.”

Duncan didn’t gloat, and instead went did a number on the Blazers. As a results, San Antonio’s winning streak matches the Los Angeles Lakers’ season-best from Nov. 19 to Dec. 9.

It is San Antonio’s longest run since winning 11 straight last season.

“We’re not feeling unbeatable, but we’re feeling on a roll and we’re feeling pretty good about ourselves,” Duncan said. “We’re approaching every game the same way—with the realization that we need to bring our `A’ game against every team”

Tony Parker added 15 points and 10 assists for the defending NBA champion Spurs, who shot 52.6 percent.

The Blazers, who are 12-4 at home, trailed by as many as 21 points, but closed it to 65-56 on Damon Stoudamire’s driving layup. Wallace further narrowed it with his own layup, but Parker responded with a jumper to chill the rally.

Wesley Person hit a 3-pointer and Zach Randolph made a free throw to again close in on the Spurs, 74-66, before Robert Horry’s 3-pointer for San Antonio. The Blazers couldn’t get any closer.

The Spurs were coming off an 87-73 victory over Seattle the night before. Duncan had 27 points and 20 rebounds.

Randolph had 29 points and seven rebounds for Portland. The Blazers’ third-year forward has 13 double-doubles this season, including 29 points and 20 boards in a 101-94 victory over Phoenix on Thursday night.

Randolph’s seven rebounds against the Spurs matched his season-low.

When Robert Horry’s dunk put San Antonio up 36-23 early, there were boos from the hometown fans.

The boos got louder when Parker’s driving layup gave the Spurs a 44-27 lead. They wouldn’t let the Blazers closer than 14 points en route to a 56-40 lead at the half.

The Blazers ended up shooting 43.2 percent.

“We didn’t come out focused and ready to play,” Randolph said. “Our energy level was real low.”

Portland coach Maurice Cheeks said the Spurs simply stymied the Blazers’ defense.

“I think our defense got a little better in the third quarter but we dug ourselves such a big hole it was hard to compete,” he said.

It was the Spurs’ sixth straight road victory.

NOTES

The Spurs won the first meeting this season between the two teams, 102-77, in San Antonio. … The Blazers were 0-for-3 from 3-point range in the first half, with Rasheed Wallace making all three attempts. … The Spurs’ club record for consecutive wins is 17, set during the 1995-96 season. … PGA Tourpro Peter Jacobsen attended the game.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 San Antonio
T. Duncan T. Duncan
10-23,  26 Pts
10 Rebs, 3 Assists
 Portland
Z. Randolph Z. Randolph
11-18,  29 Pts
7 Rebs, 2 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists