Durant scores 36, Thunder beat Spurs
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Kevin Durant had 36 points to offset Tony Parker’s season-high 37, and the Oklahoma City Thunder survived a testy 111-105 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night, their third win this season over the defending Western Conference champions.
Reggie Jackson had 27 points and Serge Ibaka added 14 points for Oklahoma City (33-10), which reclaimed the West’s best record.
Tim Duncan and Boris Diaw scored 14 points each, Marco Belinelli had 13 points and Manu Ginobili added 10 points. Duncan added 13 rebounds, but San Antonio (32-10) struggled to overcome the loss of their top defensive stopper, Kawhi Leonard.
Durant finished 12 for 22, but struggled to get his shot off against the snug defense of the 6-foot-7 Leonard, who has a 7-4 wingspan. Leonard left the game late in the first half after sustaining a non-displaced fracture in his right hand. His status is unknown, but a similar injury is expected to sideline Danny Green for a month.
Durant scored 24 points after Leonard left the game with 3 minutes left in the first half.
The Spurs used a physical defense against Durant with Leonard out, especially when Ginobili drew the assignment. The physical play angered Durant, who twice lowered his shoulder and dropped Ginobili. Both plays resulted in non-calls, which incensed Gregg Popovich. The Spurs coach screamed at officials while Durant appeared to yell at Popovich. Popovich was assessed a technical foul, which Durant angrily sank with 1:12 to give Oklahoma City a 55-51 lead with 1:19 left in the first half.
A fight nearly broke out between Derek Fisher and Patty Mills at midcourt in the final minute when the two became entangled on the floor battling for a loose ball. The two had to be separated by teammates after rising from the pile.
There were four lead changes and six ties in the third quarter, but Oklahoma City never trailed in the fourth.
Durant bounced up and down excitedly after his 3-pointer gave Oklahoma City a 108-98 lead with just over a minute remaining.
Jackson averages 13.2 points, but has scored 23.7 points against the Spurs this season.
Jackson had 11 consecutive points early in the fourth quarter, blowing past Parker for layups to give Oklahoma City a 94-89 lead with 8 minutes left.
NOTES: Spurs C Tiago Splitter (sprained right shoulder) and W Danny Green (broken left index finger) both missed the game. . Oklahoma City is 10-4 in back-to-back games, including a 4-3 record on the second night. They have swept three back-to-backs this season. San Antonio has a 54-22 record at home over Oklahoma City. . Fun-loving Spurs forward Matt Bonner is playing along with the ribbing he is getting about the mask he must wear to protect the broken nose he sustained Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers. Duncan, who owns a vehicle customization shop, offered a custom-paint job for the clear mask and Parker joked that Bonner could "scare Durant" with it. Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News jokingly asked if the injury ends Bonner’s hopes of a modeling career once his NBA days are over. "I can still be a hand model," Bonner said.