The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night 104-94. This was a key win for the Thunder as they stay a half game behind the New Orleans Pelicans for the fourth seed in the Western Conference. The loss keeps the Spurs seventh in the conference.
Russell Westbrook had 21 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assist. This was common coming from the reigning MVP who averaged a triple double a year ago. The story of this game was a battle of the benches. The Spurs bench outscored the Thunder bench 54-50.
The Spurs were led by two bench players Rudy Gay and Davis Bertans who both scored 14 points. The Thunder held LaMarcus Aldridge to just 11 points and 7 rebounds; he had 26 points and 9 rebounds the first time these two teams met.
The Thunder other two stars had a combined 11 points. Carmelo Anthony had 2 points which was a lob pass from Westbrook in the third quarter. Paul George scored 11 points on 4-16 shooting (1-8) from three.
Jerami Grant contributed 15 points and 8 rebounds off the bench. Nick Collison who doesn't play much chipped in with 7 points.
The difference in the game was the free throws. The Thunder had 24 attempts and made 16, compared to just seven for the Spurs and they made four.
The Thunder who are last in the league in bench points got the much needed lift from others not named Anthony, Westbrook, or George. This was a positive sign because this is what it’s going to take for the Thunder to advance deep in the playoffs.
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