Published: Sun, January 13, 2019
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Thunder Bounce Back, Top Spurs 122-112

Thunder Bounce Back, Top Spurs 122-112

Westbrook against San Antonio and Westbrook, again, in 2016 against Phoenix.

The Thunder scored 21 points off 14 San Antonio turnovers while only turning the ball over seven times.

When that wasn't enough to put away the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio got the extra push it needed from its big man in the middle. The arduous win for San Antonio also meant that Gregg Popovich would pass Jerry Sloan for third All-Time in National Basketball Association head coaching wins.

"Schroder just sliced us and diced us, did a great job getting to the rim, scoring, " he said. "It was fun to watch".

Schroder was one of three Thunder reserves with at least 13 points, and they combined for 47 of the team's 48 off the bench. It was just San Antonio's second loss in its last eight games.

Two nights after going 16 of 19 from behind the 3-point line, San Antonio struggled from behind the arc in the return game of the home-and-home.

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"He has been a beast all year long", said head coach Gregg Popovich. The two Western Conference foes dueled out through four quarters and two overtimes in what looked to be a Heavyweight boxing match-both teams were swinging until the bitter end. He's just been fantastic.

Aldridge surpassed his previous career high of 45 points, which he set against Utah on March 23, 2018. "That I feel like it should have happened in my career".

Oklahoma City rallied back and tied it at 114 with six minutes remaining in regulation when Steven Adams made consecutive follows off misses by Westbrook.

Schroder stole the ball, then bounced a pass between his legs and behind him to a trailing Westbrook, whose layup put the Thunder ahead 112-100 with about 5 minutes to play. With that being said, I think the Thunder bounce back with a statement win at home in this one. "They doubled me in every way".

Oklahoma City entered the game having held opponents to 33.3 percent shooting from 3-point range, the third-lowest in the league, but the Thunder couldn't contain San Antonio early.

The Spurs hit all 10 of their 3s in the first half and finished 16-for-19 from deep.

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They head for Oklahoma City for a rematch Saturday night.

Marco Belinelli had a season-high 24 points off the bench to lead San Antonio.

If only one member of the dynamic duo ends up reaching the All Star game, it would more likely be DeMar DeRozan because of the strong narrative surrounding his season. Aldridge shot 5-of-9 for 10 points in the first quarter but finished the opening half with just 14 points.

In addition to the 20-plus points and eight rebounds Aldridge can seemingly still give you in his sleep, he's actually improved as a defender in the back half of his career, anchoring a top-four defense a year ago while helping this season's depleted Spurs bounce back from an ugly start on that end of the floor.

Spurs: Aldridge has 17,758 career points, passing Magic Johnson for 78th on the NBA's career list.

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