Kevin Durant scored 31 points and Russell Westbrook added 29 to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the short-handed San Antonio Spurs 111-92 in the NBA on Saturday.
Oklahoma City won its seventh straight but the game wasn’t the late-season showdown that was anticipated after the Spurs rested Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.
“Another opportunity for us to keep growing and building our habits,” Durant said. “It wasn’t on us that they didn’t play their starters. We just had to continue to play our game and do what we do.”
Assured of a spot in the playoffs, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said his team played hard, but didn’t have the talent available to keep up.
“We hung in there really well and did a good job,” Popovich said. “You learn from everything. Win or lose, it doesn’t matter.”
LeBron big in bounce-back win
The Cleveland Cavaliers bounced back from Thursday’s loss in Brooklyn to beat the New York Knicks 107-93.
LeBron James had 27 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his third triple-double of the season and the 42nd of his career. He also moved within three points of Dominique Wilkins for 12th place on the NBA’s scoring list.
Raptors keep winning ...
DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points and Patrick Patterson 16 as the Toronto Raptors beat the New Orleans Pelicans 115-91 to tie a franchise record with their 49th victory of the season as they prepare for the playoffs.
“We’ve got to understand the second half of the season is where it counts, where it matters, where we understand who we are and what we’ve got to do to win,” DeRozan said.
... So do the Hawks
Paul Millsap had 23 points and nine rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks ended the Detroit Pistons’ five-game victory streak, winning 112-95
The Hawks have won 13 of their last 16 and moved a game ahead of Miami atop the Southeast Division.
• Isaiah Thomas scored 28 points against his former team as the Boston Celtics held off the Phoenix Suns 102-99 despite almost blowing a 21-point lead.
• Orlando journeyman center Dewayne Dedmon scored a career-high 18 points as the Magic dealt the Chicago Bulls a blow to their fading playoff hopes, winning 111-89 to end a six-game losing streak.
• The Bulls (36-36), fighting to climb back into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, dropped their third straight game.
• Brook Lopez scored 23 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 as the Brooklyn Nets beat the Indiana Pacers 120-110.
• Gordon Hayward scored 16 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as the Utah Jazz finished a five-game road trip with a 93-84 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
• Nicolas Batum scored 23 of his 25 points in the first half as the Charlotte Hornets used a 3-point barrage to rout the Milwaukee Bucks 115-91.
• C.J. McCollum converted a three-point play with 7.6 seconds left to break a tie and lift the Portland Trail Blazers past the Philadelphia 76ers 108-105, avoiding another embarrassing loss to the NBA’s worst team.
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