Gilgeous-Alexander, Adams lead Thunder past Spurs
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was surly, even by his standards, during his postgame media session.
It was easy to see why.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 22 points and 13 rebounds, Steven Adams added 21 points and 14 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder rolled past the Spurs 131-103. It was Oklahoma City’s largest victory margin ever against San Antonio.
Popovich interrupted reporters mid question and gave terse answers. About a minute into the session, Popovich asked, “Are there any other questions that are going to amaze me, because I’ve got to talk to my boss.”
There were no further questions.
Luguentz Dort, a rookie who is on a two-way contract, scored 15 points on 6-for-6 shooting for Oklahoma City. Chris Paul added 12 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds to help the Thunder win for the 12th time in 15 games. Eight Oklahoma City players scored in double figures – a first for the team since moving from Seattle in 2008. The Thunder had seven players in double figures on Friday in a win over Denver.
“We are playing unselfishly, and that’s what Coach (Billy Donovan) is telling us to do,” Thunder guard Dennis Schroder said. “Just moving the ball, and people had great shots or (sometimes) good shots, you know, then passing the ball for a great shot. It’s just amazing to see.”
The Spurs shot just 37% from the field. Rudy Gay scored 14 points and Marco Belinelli added 13. DeMar DeRozan was held to 11 points and LaMarcus Aldridge scored just eight – both well below their averages.
The Spurs led 45-36 in the second quarter before the Thunder went on a 16-0 run. Oklahoma City led 61-55 at halftime behind 13 points from Dort.
The Thunder opened the second half on an 8-2 run, and the Spurs called a timeout. The Thunder continued to roll and outscored the Spurs 37-18 in the third quarter to take a 98-73 lead. The Thunder shot 66.7% in the quarter while the Spurs shot 23.8%.
Early in the fourth quarter, Adams passed behind his back to Schroder, who lobbed the ball to Adams for a one-handed throwdown that gave the Thunder a 104-77 lead.
It was a tough loss for a Spurs team that was coming off a solid win at Utah on Friday.
“We have been playing well, but after that first half, it just looked like they didn’t have any juice,” Popovich said. “And in the second half, we were behind the eight ball in a lot of different ways.”
Spurs: Committed just one turnover in the first quarter and finished with nine. … Shot better from 3-point range in the first half (40%) than overall (35.1%) in the first half. … G Dejounte Murray went scoreless on 0-for-7 shooting.
Thunder: Shot exactly 50% from the field in each of the first two quarters. … Backup G Terrance Ferguson did not play in the second half due to stiffness in his lower back. … Oklahoma City’s other double-figures scorers were Schroder with 13 points, Danilo Gallinari with 12 and Abdel Nader and Nerlens Noel each with 10. … Dort had a plus-36 plus-minus rating.
Paul came close to getting the first triple-double for a Thunder player at Chesapeake Energy Arena since Russell Westbrook last April. Donovan pulled Paul with 8:25 remaining and the Thunder leading 109-81. Paul didn’t know he was so close to his 16th career triple-double until after the game.
“Oh that’s Billy then. Billy won’t let me be great, man,” Paul joked. “But no, it’s cool. Listen man. Me and Shai was on the bench talking about it – that it has been a while since we had a game where we had the chance to rest. We always play close games, so I could care less. I’ll take the rest.”
Noel blocked five shots and made all five of his field goal attempts. He also committed five fouls.
HE SAID IT
Dort, on waiting to get a full-time NBA contract: “Right now, I’m just staying patient. I know it’s a great organization and they know what they are doing, so I’m really just staying patient and really just playing basketball and you know I can’t wait until it happens for sure and that’s my goal but like right now I’m really just staying patient and just really play.”
Spurs: Host Dallas on Wednesday night.
Thunder: At Chicago on Tuesday night.
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