Spurs pull away late to beat Thunder
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points and the San Antonio Spurs held Russell Westbrook scoreless in the fourth quarter for a 108-94 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night.
Westbrook had 27 points, 14 assists and six rebounds in 34 minutes, but was shut out after scoring 14 points in the third. Rookie forward Domantas Sabonis matched a season high with 13 rebounds and had 13 points. The Thunder’s bench was outscored 32-22.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 25 points for San Antonio, which improved to 17-6 at home.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich collected his 1,126th career victory, leaving him one shy of tying the league record for most wins with one franchise held by Utah’s Jerry Sloan.
Leonard had 12 points in the final quarter, including a dynamic three-point play for a 91-81 lead. The 6-foot-7 forward crossed over Victor Oladipo near the 3-point line, leapt past contact from Steven Adams and glided under the basket for a left-handed reverse layup.
Westbrook sparked a 23-4 run in the third that erased an 18-point deficit and gave the Thunder a 69-68 lead.
Danny Green helped limit Westbrook in the opening 16 minutes, blocking his 3-point attempt in the first quarter and drawing consecutive offensive fouls on the mercurial point guard in the second period.
San Antonio held Oklahoma City to 17 points in the first quarter, one shy of matching an opponent’s lowest total in the opening period.
Thunder: Oklahoma City finished 7-8 in January, its first month with a losing record this season. . Westbrook, Sabonis and Andre Roberson have started all 49 games. . Oklahoma City played eight of its last nine games on the road, closing that stretch with a 4-5 record. The Thunder will play nine of their next 11 at home. . Thunder coach Billy Donovan was assessed a technical foul with 9:34 remaining for arguing over a pair of non-calls on consecutive possessions. Leonard made the ensuing free throw, but officials determined he was not in the game when the technical took place. Officials had Patty Mills retake the free throw, which he made. . The Thunder had 13 turnovers in the first half, the most by a Spurs opponent this season.
Spurs: Manu Ginobili played in his 964th career game, moving past Boston Celtics Hall of Famer Bill Russell for 154th all-time. . San Antonio has used 17 different starting lineups this season. . The Spurs have scored 100-plus points in 25 straight games, their longest streak since 29 straight in 1987-88. . Leonard has scored in double figures in 77 straight games, the franchise’s longest streak since Tim Duncan had 91 in 2002-03. Hall of Famer George Gervin owns the franchise record with 406 straight games in double figures from Nov. 21, 1978, to Dec. 16, 1983.
Thunder: Host Chicago on Wednesday night.
Spurs: Host Philadelphia on Thursday night.