Mills haunts Blazers as Spurs win 111-109

Ex-Blazer scores 29 points against shorthanded former team

By Erik Gundersen, Columbian Trail Blazers writer

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PORTLAND -- In a night with line-ups the Blazers haven't seen all season, it was a familiar face that gave them the most trouble on Wednesday.

Former Blazer Patty Mills' 29 points led the San Antonio Spurs to a 111-109 victory over the Blazers on Tuesday night.

One night after scoring 25 points against the Clippers, Mills dropped 29 in the city he used to call his NBA home.

In a city that is proud of its weirdness, basketball fans were treated to very bizarre night of hoops.

The Spurs were without three of their core players from a Western Conference title team a year ago in Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard.

The Blazers started Dorell Wright at power forward in place of the injured LaMarcus Aldridge, going with four perimeter players alongside Robin Lopez.

There were moments when Portland's Thomas Robinson was the biggest Blazer on the four matched up against Boris Diaw.

Two of the top four teams in the Western Conference trotted out rosters that were more apt for a preseason game. With the Blazers jockeying with the Spurs and other teams, the game carried far more weight than that.

Neither team played very well early, but they found their footing as the game carried on, at least offensively.

Damian Lillard carried the Blazers offensively, especially in the fourth quarter when the Blazers found themselves down by double digits.

Lillard finished with 28 points, dueling against Mills, but Portland was unable to get the stops needed.

Wesley Matthews, who scored 18 points on the night, tied the game 101-101 with 1:51 left.

The Spurs answered with a three-pointer by Marco Belinenlli, the 2014 Three Point contest winner, on the next possession.

The Spurs got a stop and Belinelli followed it up with a pretty assist to a diving Tiago Splitter, who made the basket and also got fouled.

The Blazers made things interesting late but Lopez had a an untimely turnover with 15 seconds left that led to a jump ball, which San Antonio won.

A game that began with a weird feel, ended in much the same fashion.

However, the end result is Portland's first three-game losing streak of the season with at least two more games without their three-time All-Star forward.