Spurs Outlast Thunder in High-Scoring Contest
Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:13 pm
By: News On 6
Originally Published: Feb 23, 2011 8:54 PM CDTGerald Goodridge
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
SAN ANTONIO -- Oklahoma City threatened late, but San Antonio was just too much for the Thunder, winning 109-105 Wednesday in its first home game in nine games.
The Thunder started the game’s final 12 minutes trialing 88-80, but backup guards Daequan Cook and James Harden quickly remedied that. Cook hit back-to-back threes to start the quarter and Harden followed by scoring Oklahoma City’s next 10 points to account for all of a 16-6 run to take a 96-94 lead.
However, the Spurs’ potent offense battled back, like it had several times before in the game.
After a pair of free throws from Tony Parker, Matt Bonner scored five quick points to give San Antonio a 101-98 lead with 3:41 left on the clock. Oklahoma City answered with a 5-2 run to tie the game 103-103 with less than two minutes to play.
Parker scored the next three points to take a 106-103 advantage and the Thunder would manage two more points, but the Spurs converted on their free throw attempts to end the game.
Kevin Durant led all scorers with 30 points, he also grabbed nine rebounds and dished out three assists in the loss. Point guard Russell Westbrook contributed 25 points and seven rebounds, with Harden scoring 16 points coming off of the bench.
Parker led the charge for the Spurs with 20 points, while future hall of famer Tim Duncan finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Backup guard Gary Neal was hot from behind the arc, scoring 12 of his 19 points from three-point range, as the team hit 13 from downtown.
The game proved to be a back-and-forth battle early on. Oklahoma City led by 51-47 late in the second quarter, but the Spurs responded.
With four minutes left in the half, Richard Jefferson knocked down a three pointer to close the deficit to one point. On the next possession, a flagrant foul by Nick Collison on Parker sent the guard to the free throw line for two attempts. He converted on both to retake the lead 52-51 and spark a 17-2 run to close the half with the Spurs leading 64-53.
The third quarter proved to be a battle early on and Oklahoma City pulled to within three points by stringing together a 12-4 run, nine coming from Durant. Four minutes later trailing 80-76, the Thunder four unanswered points to close the gap to a single possession, but San Antonio scored eight of the quarter’s final 10 points to push the lead to 88-80.
The Thunder now travels to Orlando for a Friday night matchup with the Magic, in an attempt to take the second matchup of the season against the Easter Conference foe.