Short-handed Spurs Still Too Much For Thunder

Monday, March 11th 2013, 11:04 pm
By: News 9

No Parker, no problem.

The Spurs were without All-Star point guard Tony Parker Monday night, but got a balanced effort from the rest of the roster en route to a 105-93 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Six Spurs (49-15) players scored in double-figures, led by Tiago Splitter's 21 points on 9-11 shooting and 10 rebounds. Sharpshooter Danny Green scored 16 points and shot 4-4 from 3-point range, while Kawhi Leonard added 17 for the Western Conference's No. 1 team.

Oklahoma City (47-17) trailed 10-4 early, but that would soon change in a big way. The Thunder exploded for a 23-4 run to seize control and take a 27-14 lead. OKC had four players score at least four points during the run.

But despite being shorthanded, the Spurs came to fight. Trailing 42-31 in the second quarter, it was San Antonio's turn to explode. Propelled by the hot shooting of Leonard and Green, the Spurs put together a 26-4 run to go up 57-46 with less than a minute to play in the half. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook each scored just before the half cut the Spurs' lead to 57-50 at the half.

The Spurs shot 59 percent in the first half compared to just 46.3 percent for OKC, Durant and Leonard each had 11 points to lead the way.

The third quarter was the Russell Westbrook show for Oklahoma City. Westbrook scored 13 points in the period, and his jumper with 2:55 to play in the third brought the Thunder within one at 71-70. But Splitter and the Spurs put together a late push to increase the lead back to nine at 83-74 heading to the fourth. Splitter's eight points led San Antonio in the period.

For fans wanting to see a classic finish between two great teams, the Spurs squashed those hopes right off the bat in the fourth quarter. San Antonio opened the fourth on a 9-0 run, highlighted by Green's 3-ball that put the Spurs up 92-74 and forced Scott Brooks and OKC into a timeout. It took the Thunder almost five minutes to finally hit from the floor in the fourth, but by then it was too late.

The win moves San Antonio two games ahead of the Thunder for first place in the Western Conference. It also gives the Spurs the 2-1 edge in the season series--OKC will have its chance to even things up on April 4 at home.

Durant and Westbrook led the Thunder, scoring 26 and 25 points, respectively. Serge Ibaka added 13 points and 16 rebounds, while Kevin Martin chipped in nine points off the bench, all coming in the first half.

After scoring 32 points in the game's first quarter, the Thunder scored just 61 in the final three quarters combined.  Derek Fisher shot 0-3 in 12 minutes, while Reggie Jackson played just 11 minutes and scored two points.   

The loss snaps OKC's five-game winning streak and was the Thunder's fourth game in five nights. Next up is a home game with Utah Wednesday night in Oklahoma City.