Spurs target West's top seed vs. Blazers

The streaking San Antonio Spurs can wrap up the top spot in the Western Conference when they entertain the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday.

A 114-98 rout of Cleveland on Sunday coupled with Oklahoma City's double overtime loss in Los Angeles against the Lakers gave San Antonio a 1 1/2-game cushion atop the West with just three games to play. Since the Spurs own the tiebreaker over the Thunder thanks to a 2-1 record in the season series, Gregg Popovich's club can clinch things tonight.

San Antonio is also just one-half game behind Chicago for the best record in the NBA.

Manu Ginobili scored 20 points, while Stephen Jackson added 17 in the Spurs' win over the Cavaliers.

DeJuan Blair had 15 points and seven boards for San Antonio, which has won seven straight and 18 of its last 20 contests, dropping their magic number to clinch the top seed to one.

"We have a great opportunity to clinch it at home, so we'll make sure to get some rest tonight," Spurs guard Tony Parker said about his team. "We have to take advantage of that opportunity."

San Antonio will be trying to capture the West crown against the same team that handed the franchise its most lopsided defeat in 15 years, a 137-97 setback in Rip City back on Feb. 21.

Portland, however, is a far different team now. All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge has been shut down for the rest of the season due to right hip surgery and point guard Raymond Felton (personal reasons) and forward Nicolas Batum (left quad) have been sidelined.

Despite missing those key contributors the Blazers hung in before losing at Memphis, 93-89, in the opener of a season-ending three-game road trip.

J.J. Hickson scored a game-high 23 points and ripped down 13 boards for the Blazers, who have dropped five consecutive games. Jamal Crawford added 21 points, while Wesley Matthews finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.

After tonight's game the Blazers will finish the season with a visit to Utah.

Portland has won four of five versus the Spurs and hasn't lost six straight overall since Nov. 20-Dec. 3, 2010. The Blazers are just 3-13 in their previous 16 trips to the Alamo City.