Durant, Thunder Put End to Spurs’ Long Run
OKLAHOMA CITY – Kevin Durant scored 28 points to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat San Antonio 106-94 on Thursday night, ending the Spurs’ winning streak at 19 games.
Russell Westbrook scored 27 points and Serge Ibaka added 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder, who won the matchup between the top two teams in the Western Conference. Oklahoma City is three games behind with eight games remaining.
Durant scored at least 25 points for the 39th consecutive game, the longest streak since Michael Jordan did it 40 consecutive times during the 1986-87 season. He reached 25 on a free throw with 3:31 remaining.
Patty Mills scored 21 points and Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan each added 17 for the Spurs. San Antonio had won its previous four games by an average of 23.5 points.
Spurs reserve Manu Ginobili didn’t play. He was not listed on the injury report, and coach Gregg Popovich did not explain why Ginobili was out.
Oklahoma City trailed 51-43 in the second quarter before Westbrook drained a 3-pointer, then made a layup with 2.6 seconds left in the first half to cut the deficit to 51-48 at halftime.
The Thunder continued their surge in the second half. Rookie Andre Roberson hit a 3-pointer gave the Thunder a 57-56 lead. A lob from Reggie Jackson to Durant for a dunk gave Oklahoma City a 75-65 lead. Durant hit a running jumper in the closing seconds of the third quarter to put the Thunder up 80-71. He scored 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting in the period.
Oklahoma City pushed its lead to 16, but San Antonio went on an 8-0 run to pull to 91-83.
The Thunder regained control. Westbrook got into the open court, clutched and threw down a reverse dunk to bump Oklahoma City’s lead back up to 95-83 with 5:25 to play.
GAME NOTES: Jackson played after sitting the previous two games with a mid-back sprain. … Thunder C Kendrick Perkins returned to action after missing the previous 17 games with a left groin strain he suffered against the Miami Heat. … Duncan and Perkins got tangled up early in the third quarter, and both were issued technical fouls. Perkins had his arm around Duncan, Duncan threw it off, and Perkins shoved Duncan. … Thunder reserve F Nick Collison left the game in the third quarter after he took an elbow to the head from San Antonio reserve F Jeff Ayres and was bleeding.
He got four staples and was ready to play early in the fourth quarter. … Westbrook was issued a technical with 1:07 remaining after arguing with the officials.