Spurs move past Thunder, 103-99
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 30, 2018 11:09 AM
Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook, center, shoots against San Antonio Spurs' Kyle Anderson (1) and Pau Gasol during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 29, 2018, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
By Raul Dominguez, Associated Press
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 11 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs held off the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-99 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) to climb back into fourth place in the Western Conference.
San Antonio matched Oklahoma City at 44-32 in jumping two spots in the standings. The Thunder are fifth, a half-game ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Aldridge scored 21 points in the first half, then drove past Steven Adams for a dunk and a three-point lead with 52 seconds left as the Spurs snapped a two-game slide.
Paul George led Oklahoma City with 26 points and had six assists. Russell Westbrook added 19 points and 11 assists, but had a pair of three-pointers miss the rim and land out of bounds in the final minutes.
Both teams experienced scoring droughts, resulting in 10 lead changes and seven ties.
Patty Mills and Davis Bertans hit back-to-back triples to give the Spurs a 94-87 lead with 4 minutes remaining. The Thunder made only two field goals between the 10:34 and 3:17 mark of the fourth but still were within a basket with less than two minutes remaining.
George sank three free throws to pull Oklahoma City within 97-96, but Aldridge scored before Westbrook shot an airball on a three-pointer with 14 seconds remaining.
Aldridge played despite bruising his left knee following a collision in Tuesday's (Wednesday, PHL time) 116-106 loss to Washington. He was listed as doubtful, but the Spurs couldn't do without him as they battle for a playoff berth.
Aldridge was the only Spurs player in double figures through three quarters, while the Thunder had four with at least 10 points.
Oklahoma City took advantage of San Antonio's offensive troubles when Aldridge exited, going on a 13-2 run beginning midway through the third quarter in taking a 74-68 lead.
The Spurs had 18 turnovers, including three in the first four minutes. The Thunder had 17 points off the turnovers, but Danny Green ensured it wasn't more. Green ran down George from behind following a steal in the third quarter, swatting away a layup attempt near the rim.
George had four steals.
Mills finished with 14 points and Green had 11.
Thunder: George fell to the court after taking an elbow to the back of the head from Green with two minutes remaining. George rose with some assistance but remained in the game following a timeout. ... Oklahoma City's last win in San Antonio was Dec. 25, 2014. ... The Thunder are 18-19 on the road. ... Corey Brewer is averaging 10.5 points since signing with the Thunder on March 3 (Mar. 4, PHL time), more than doubling his previous average of 4.5 points. Brewer has played 12 games with the Thunder after 65 games with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Spurs: Manu Ginobili is now the Spurs' career leader in steals, passing David Robinson for the franchise record. Ginobili has 1,389 steals, Robinson has 1,388 and Alvin Robertson is third with 1,128. ... Aldridge has 67 games in double figures this season, the most he has had since joining the Spurs. ... Kyle Anderson had his only two steals of the game in the opening minute. ... The Spurs started Aldridge, Mills, Anderson, Pau Gasol and Dejounte Murray for the fifth time this season.
Thunder: Host Denver on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).
Spurs: Host Houston on Sunday afternoon (Monday, PHL time).