OKLAHOMA – Russell Westbrook scored 27 points, Kevin Durant had 25 and Oklahoma City Thunder held off a series of San Antonio Spurs comebacks to defeat them 100-88 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena last night.
The Spurs lost for the third time in four games and relinquished control of the race for the top seed in the West, despite still holding a half-game lead on Oklahoma City. The Thunder pulled even in the loss column and would own the tiebreaker if both teams won out because of a better record against the West.
Derek Fisher hit a season-high five 3-pointers and had 17 points, his most since joining Oklahoma City in late February, while fuelling a big first-half run that put the Thunder ahead to stay.
Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan each scored 24 points and had double-doubles for the Spurs. Parker had just two points in 25 minutes, and coach Gregg Popovich pulled him after noticing him limping.
“When he started out, it looked like he had no energy to start the game and then as he went, he looked to me like he was limping,” Popovich said. “And then (at the) start of the second half, we saw him coming across half-court actually limping one time, and that’s when we pulled him and I said to him, ‘Tony, you got to stop.'”
San Antonio was already playing without sixth man Manu Ginobili (hamstring), who could miss the rest of the regular season, and fellow reserve Stephen Jackson (ankle). Parker wasn’t sure whether he’d miss any time with his latest problem.
The Thunder took control with a 26-5 surge that started midway through the first quarter, then fended off a series of comebacks as San Antonio tried to rally from 20 points behind in the first half and 14 down in the fourth quarter.
The Spurs got as close as 87-84 following Duncan’s layup with 5:54 to play, at the end of a 13-2 run that featured three baskets by Boris Diaw.
Leonard had 14 rebounds and Duncan 11. Serge Ibaka had 11 points and 11 boards for Oklahoma City.
Other games last night: Bulls 92, Nets 90; Mavericks 94, Nuggets 95.
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