The Oklahoma City Thunder squared off against the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night and emerged victorious, winning 100-88.
It was a spirited contest between these two teams, one that saw the Spurs bring it within three on two separate occasions, only to see the Thunder ultimately pull away again each time.
Russell Westbrook scored 27 points and Kevin Durant had 25 led the team, and their effort allowed OKC to grab control of the reins in the race for home-court advantage in the Western Conference playoffs. Derek Fisher also had a standout night; the man known for big time shots in the clutch hit a season-high five 3-pointers and had 17 points, his most since becoming a part of this time. His hot streak beyond the arc helped the Thunder go on a substantial run in the first half, and the Spurs never really could overcome it.
For San Antonio, Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan each dropped 24 points and had double-doubles. As hot as they were, Tony Parker was the exact opposite: he had just two points in 25 minutes and did not see the court for the final seven minutes of the game.
The Thunder held a commanding lead over the Spurs for the majority of the game, and went into the half up eight points, 52-44. In the third quarter though, things got interesting when the Spurs surged back and cut the lead to six points, 77-71 at the end of the third quarter. The plot thickened in the fourth quarter when, with under five minutes to go, San Antonio cut it to three and threatened to turn the game in their favor. A big-time block by Danny Green–who disrupted what would have been a major slam by Kendrick Perkins–served to silence the OKC home crowd briefly.
But Durant did what he does best, and gave the Thunder fans reason to breathe easy. He laid down a monster dunk that effectively served as the nail in the coffin, and Oklahoma City rolled to the win with that energy boost.
This win was an important one for the Thunder, who still sit a half-game behind the Spurs, because if both teams win out the rest of the season, Oklahoma City has the tiebreaker because they hold a better record against conference opponents.
Oklahaom City advances to 55-20 on the season, and will face the Indiana Pacers next on Fri., Apr. 5.