OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)LaMarcus Aldridge and the San Antonio Spurs headed into the All-Star break with a win.
It was a welcome change after a tough stretch.
Aldridge had 25 points and 14 rebounds, and the Spurs stopped a five-game slide by topping the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-106 on Tuesday night.
”Great effort on their part,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. ”I’m happy for them. It’s been tough so far this first half, and they’ve been in a lot of games and we just haven’t finished them. But tonight we did, so they deserve a lot of credit.”
Dejounte Murray also scored 25 points for San Antonio, which had dropped eight of 10 overall. Patty Mills had 20 points, and fellow reserve Derrick White finished with 17.
Led by Aldridge and Murray, the Spurs made 25 of 27 foul shots. Aldridge went 7 for 8, and Murray was a perfect 6 for 6.
”Proud of my teammates, proud of myself,” Murray said. ”We fought hard, we showed poise and showed we could finish the game against a good team.”
Oklahoma City dropped its second straight after a stretch of nine wins in 10 games. Chris Paul scored 31 points for the Thunder, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 17.
”I thought offensively it was a hard night for us,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. ”We just never really got going.”
Oklahoma City tied it at 79 on Hamidou Diallo’s dunk early in the fourth. But San Antonio responded with a 9-0 run.
Aldridge sparked the decisive stretch with a tiebreaking jumper, and Bryn Forbes’ 3-pointer made it 88-79 with 8:34 left.
Murray made each of his six free throws in the final 41 seconds to help the Spurs hold on.
San Antonio played without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan, who was sidelined by back spasms.
Spurs: Murray also grabbed nine rebounds. … The Spurs went 7 for 25 from 3-point range.
Thunder: Danilo Gallinari scored 15 points, and Dennis Schroder had 14. Steven Adams finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds. … Paul went 5 for 9 from 3-point range.
Spurs: Visit Utah on Feb. 21.
Thunder: Visit New Orleans on Thursday.
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