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PDX Sports Wednesday

BLAZERS' STARTING LINEUP NO LONGER INTACT


by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - PATTY MILLSWednesday, Feb. 19

Blazers

Portland returns from the All-Star break and opens a three-game homestand against Western Conference foes. Game one is versus San Antonio, 7 p.m. (CSNNW).

Both teams are down an All-Star: Forward LaMarcus Aldridge won't play for Portland, and guard Tony Parker isn't available for San Antonio.

Aldridge (23.9 points, 11.4 rebounds per game) is out at least a week with a strained groin; Parker has a bruised shin, strained groin and back spasms.

The Blazers' frontcourt also will be without 7-foot third-string center Meyers Leonard. He is out two to three weeks with a left ankle sprain he suffered in practice Tuesday.

Hope Robin Lopez and Thomas Robinson got their rest during the All-Star break.

It will be up to the Blazers to determine if they want to use the injured list and bring up any reinforcements.

Either way, tonight will be the first time this season — and the first time in 54 games — that Portland won't be able to start its fab five of Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Lopez, Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews.

Welcome to the real NBA world, where starters get hurt at least occasionally.

Speaking of fab fives, the Blazers go into the NBA's second half — which actually is more like the third third — tied for third place with Houston in the Western Conference. Both teams are 36-17.

Oklahoma City has taken relative command of the West, leading the Spurs by 3 1/2 games with a 43-12 record.

Speaking of San Antonio (39-15), former Blazers point guard Patty Mills went wild Tuesday night at Staples Center, dropping a team-high 25 points on the Los Angeles Clippers in a 113-103 Spurs victory.

"Patty Mills was unbelievable. We never could really slow him down," said Chris Paul, the Clippers' All-Star point guard.

Spurs veteran big man Tim Duncan had 19 points and 13 rebounds, but he had to play 38 minutes, which might not bode well for Wednesday night at Portland.

College men's golf

The Oregon Ducks conclude the three-day Prestige tournament at the PGA West Normal Course in La Quinta, Calif.