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Preview: Spurs (62-20) at Suns (48-34)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: February 21, 2014 9:00 PM EDT
  

The San Antonio Spurs returned from the All-Star break with a pair of impressive road wins against the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers on back-to-back nights.

The Spurs now try to win a fourth straight game without Tony Parker while closing out a season-high nine-game road stretch Friday night against the Phoenix Suns, another Western Conference playoff contender that's returned from the break on a high note.

While the Spurs (40-15) have won six of the first eight on their annual rodeo road trip, there's been more to it than simply a range of victories spanning the country.

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The emergence of reserve Patty Mills might be the most encouraging aspect, and it continued Wednesday as the fifth-year guard scored 29 points in a 111-109 win against Portland, his former team, with Parker and Tim Duncan sidelined.

Parker is out with Achilles, back, groin and calf ailments, while the 37-year-old Duncan got his typical rest during the second leg of a back-to-back.

"If it wasn't for him the last couple nights, we would have really struggled," San Antonio forward Danny Green said of Mills. "He's doing what Tony usually does, in taking over in that fourth quarter."

Mills scored 25 on Tuesday in Los Angeles, but his surge dates beyond just the previous two games. He's averaged 21.0 points over his last seven, including a season-high 32 on Feb. 8 at Charlotte, while never logging more than 29 minutes.

"For me, it's just been learning from great guys," Mills said. "We've got three future Hall of Famers and a great coach, so I've just sat back and learned."

Fellow guard Marco Belinelli added 20 points and was 4 of 6 from 3-point range, while Green and Manu Ginobili each had 16 against Portland. The hobbled Southwest Division leaders got a bit healthier with the return of Tiago Splitter, who added 15 points and six rebounds after a four-game absence due to a calf injury.

In addition to Parker, San Antonio remains without small forward Kawhi Leonard, who has missed 13 games with a broken bone in his right hand. He's resumed practicing, though, and is nearing a return.

The Spurs have won eight of nine against the Suns (32-21), including four straight on the road and both meetings this season. The most recent came without Parker, who sat out a 108-101 victory at Phoenix on Dec. 18 because of a bruised shin. Duncan had 17 points and 13 rebounds in that one, while Ginobili scored a game-high 24.

Channing Frye had 22 points in the loss to lead five Suns in double figures, which they bettered Thursday in a balanced 100-94 home win over Boston. The victory improved Phoenix to 2-0 since the break, both games also coming on back-to-back nights.

Markieff Morris scored 18, and Goran Dragic and Gerald Green added 17 apiece as six players reached at least 10.

"Coming off the back-to-back we were a little tired, a little exhausted," said Frye, who added 15 points and seven rebounds. "And I think we had some mental breakdowns, but other than that, I think we just battle and grind it out."

Gerald Green's solid night followed his career-high 36 points at Denver on Tuesday, and the 6-foot-8 guard is averaging 26.0 over his last four games.

The win over Boston was the third in the last four contests for Phoenix, which opened a nine-game stretch that features only one road game Feb. 26 at Utah. The Suns sit 3 1/2 games behind the Pacific Division-leading Clippers.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 SAS  -125   -1.5   209 
 PHO  +105   +1.5   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 SAS  -120   -1.5   209.5 
 PHO  +100   +1.5   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 SAS  36%   48%   83% 
 PHO  64%   52%   17% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NBA HEAD TO HEAD
 Dec 18, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 SAS 108 Cover: 3.5 
 PHO 101 Over: 209 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Nov 6, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 PHO 96 Cover: 10 
 SAS 99 Under: 195 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Oct 13, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 PHO 106 Cover: 11.5 
 SAS 99 Over: 205 
 Tools:   Recaps

 NBA PREVIEWS
 Friday, Feb 21
 
    Knicks at Magic
7:05 PM EDT
    Mavericks at 76ers
7:05 PM EDT
    Cavaliers at Raptors
7:05 PM EDT
    Pelicans at Bobcats
7:05 PM EDT
    Hawks at Pistons
7:35 PM EDT
    Nuggets at Bulls
8:05 PM EDT
    Clippers at Grizzlies
8:05 PM EDT
    Spurs at Suns
9:05 PM EDT
    Jazz at Trail Blazers
10:05 PM EDT
    Celtics at Lakers
10:35 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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