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Aldridge helps Spurs past Blazers

SAN ANTONIO — With a historic showdown coming up, the San Antonio Spurs took care of business.

Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge each had 22 points and San Antonio beat the Portland Trail Blazers 118-110 Thursday night to secure the second-best home start to a season in league history.

The Spurs have won 34 straight at home to open the season and only trail the 37 wins by the Chicago Bulls during their historic 72-victory season in 1995-96. The Orlando Magic won 33 straight to open that same season.

A dominant third quarter allowed San Antonio to win its fourth straight overall and 43rd straight home game overall, dating to March 2015.

"We've got to understand that coming on a court that nobody has won on, (against) arguably the best team in the league, we can't put ourselves in that position and we did that," Portland guard Damian Lillard said.

It enabled San Antonio to sit its starters for much of the fourth quarter in advance of Saturday's showdown with Golden State. The Warriors and the Spurs have both clinched playoff berths and division titles and are on pace to finish with two of the three best single-season records in league history.

Spurs point guard Tony Parker had 18 points and a season-high 16 assists, just missing out on matching his career high when Aldridge missed a 19-foot jumper with 2:37 remaining.

"He was great," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "He ran the show, picked on a couple of jumpers here and there when they left him open. He really was a great floor general tonight."

The Spurs shot 52 percent while committing seven turnovers, which was one off their season low.

C.J. McCollum had 26 points and Lillard had 23 for Portland.

San Antonio opened the third quarter on a 10-0 run, with Aldridge scoring seven points and Leonard igniting the run with a 3-pointer.

"I love playing with (Aldridge)," Parker said. "I know exactly where he's going to be. It's funny because even if he hits five shots in a row, (defenders) are still staying with me. I'm like, 'Go to LaMarcus. Go guard him.' They still give him that wide open shots. He got a lot of shots tonight. L.A. is feeling more and more comfortable with the system."

RAPTORS 101, PACERS 94: At Indianapolis, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry each scored 28 points to lead Toronto over Indiana. DeRozan had 10 points in the fourth quarter. He had a chance to win the game for Toronto at the end of regulation but missed a fade-away jumper on the wing as time expired.

WIZARDS 99, 76ERS 94: At Philadelphia, John Wall had 16 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds for his fourth triple-double of the season and the Wizards held on for a victory over the 76ers. Wall made eight free throws in the final 14.6 seconds to help the Wizards win their third straight following a five-game losing streak.

HORNETS 109, HEAT 106: At Miami, Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker each scored 21 points, and the Hornets overcame a 15-point first-half deficit to beat the Heat. Nic Batum scored 19 for the Hornets, who split four games with Miami this season and now have the same 39-29 record as the Heat in the jampacked Eastern Conference playoff chase.

BULLS 118, NETS 102: At Chicago, Doug McDermott scored 25 points and Jimmy Butler added 22 to help the Bulls beat the Nets. It's the third straight 20-plus point game for McDermott as Chicago moved a half-game in front of idle Detroit into eighth place and the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

HAWKS 116, NUGGETS 98: At Atlanta, Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a season-high 21 points in his first start of the season and the surging Hawks beat the Nuggets. Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague each had 16 points for the Hawks, who have won four straight and seven of eight to move to third place in the Eastern Conference.

BUCKS 96, GRIZZLIES 86: At Milwaukee, Tyler Ennis scored all 13 of his points in the fourth quarter to lead the Bucks to a victory over the short-handed Grizzlies. Playing all reserves, the Bucks used a 15-2 run capped by Ennis' reverse layup that gave Milwaukee an 83-75 lead with 5:47 to play.

JAZZ 103, SUNS 69: At Salt Lake City, Joe Ingles had a season-high 15 points and career-high six steals, Trey Lyles had 17 points and Utah beat Phoenix to close the playoff gap with 14 games remaining. The Jazz are now one game behind the Rockets and Mavericks, who are tied for the last two Western Conference playoff spots.

Portland guard Damian Lillard (0) is fouled by San Antonio forward LaMarcus Aldridge as Lillard dries to the basket during the first half Thursday in San Antonio. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS