Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/27

Game 1: Wednesday, November 27th
Game 2: Saturday, December 21st
Game 3: Wednesday, January 22nd
Game 4: Thursday, April 3rd

Thunder 111

(33-10, 14-7 away)

Spurs 105

(32-10, 17-7 home)

    Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

    8:00 PM ET, January 22, 2014

    AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    OKC 30 25 21 35111
    SA 24 29 22 30105

    Top Performers

    Okc: R. Jackson 27 Pts, 2 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl

    SA: T. Parker 37 Pts, 2 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Kevin Durant keeps rolling as OKC tops Spurs for third time

    Associated Press

    SAN ANTONIO -- Teams are finding out there's little they can do to stop Kevin Durant.

    Durant had 36 points to offset Tony Parker's season-high 37, and Oklahoma City survived a testy 111-105 victory over San Antonio on Wednesday night, their third win this season over the defending Western Conference champions.

    Durant is averaging 38.1 points in his last 11 games, helping the Thunder reclaim the Western Conference's record with a five-game winning streak and an 8-3 mark.

    "Kevin did his thing down the stretch, it was pretty remarkable," San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

    Reggie Jackson gave Durant all the help he needed, matching his season high with 27 points while handing out eight assists.

    Durant and Jackson combined for 22 points on 9-for-15 shooting in a 35-point fourth quarter for Oklahoma City (33-10).

    Jackson had 11 consecutive points early in the fourth, blowing past Parker for layups to give the Thunder a 94-89 lead with 8 minutes left.

    "He has had great games against the Spurs," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "I can't put my finger on it. We want him to play aggressive basketball on both ends of the floor. I thought he did a good job of finding spots on the floor that he can finish around the rim."

    Jackson averages 13.2 points, but has scored 23.7 points against the Spurs this season.

    Durant bounced up and down excitedly after his second 3-pointer of the quarter gave Oklahoma City a 108-98 lead with 1 minute remaining.

    "Durant hit some tough shots, he hit some big 3s down the stretch and it just got away from us," Spurs veteran Tim Duncan said. "I don't know how else to explain it."

    Duncan and Boris Diaw scored 14 points each, Marco Belinelli had 13 points and Manu Ginobili added 10 points. Duncan added 13 rebounds, but San Antonio (32-10) struggled to overcome the loss of their top defensive stopper, Kawhi Leonard.

    Durant finished 12 for 22, but struggled to get his shot off against the snug defense of the 6-foot-7 Leonard, who has a 7-4 wingspan. Leonard left the game late in the first half after sustaining a non-displaced fracture in his right hand. His status is unknown, but a similar injury is expected to sideline Danny Green for a month.

    "It's tough, we're dropping like flies right now," Duncan said. "Losing Kawhi was huge, especially in a game like tonight."

    Durant scored 24 points after Leonard left the game with 3 minutes left in the first half.

    "I felt early in the game the pick-and-roll was working," Durant said. "I was able to go at the bigs a little bit and in the second half I missed some shots, too. They did a good job of just being physical. I think in the second half the defense was a little better."

    With Leonard out, the Spurs rotated Belinelli, Ginobili and 6-3 former Texas Longhorns teammate Cory Joseph on the 6-9 Durant. San Antonio even attempted a zone at one point to slow Durant to no avail.

    "(He guarded Durant) just one time in the zone -- he just shot over me," Parker said. "He is on fire right now anyways. He played great tonight. You just have to give them credit."

    The Spurs used a physical defense against Durant with Leonard out, especially when Ginobili drew the assignment. The tough play angered Durant, who twice lowered his shoulder and dropped Ginobili. Both plays resulted in non-calls, which incensed Popovich.

    The Spurs coach screamed at officials while Durant appeared to yell at Popovich. Popovich was assessed a technical foul, which Durant angrily sank with 1:12 to give Oklahoma City a 55-51 lead with 1:19 left in the first half.

    Durant dismissed the heated emotion just as quickly as he did any psychological boost the Thunder will get from beating the rival Spurs three times.

    "I'm sure those guys aren't worried that we beat them three times," Durant said. "We're just going to keep plugging away."

    San Antonio is 1-9 against the West's remaining top-five teams and the East's best, Indiana, but they have bigger problems now. After remaining relatively healthy in reaching the NBA finals last season, the Spurs have been plagued by a rash of injuries in the past month.

    Leonard joins starting center Tiago Splitter and former starter Green on the injured list. Parker is also still has a bruised shin that limits his mobility and long-range shooting forward Matt Bonner has to wear a mask after breaking his nose Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers.

    "(Losing Leonard) is a big loss for us," Parker said. "We are already down Tiago and Danny, but everyone goes through injuries and we have to deal with it. Other guys are going to have to step up, but we just have to keep playing."

    Parker had 20 points in the second half, including 12 in the fourth quarter.

    "Offensively, Tony was great, but he needed some help for a little while and we just did not get it to him," Duncan said.

    There were four lead changes and six ties in the third quarter, but Oklahoma City never trailed in the fourth.

    Game notes

    Splitter (sprained right shoulder) and Green (broken left index finger) both missed the game. ... Oklahoma City is 10-4 in back-to-back games, including a 4-3 record on the second night. They have swept three back-to-backs this season. San Antonio has a 54-22 record at home over Oklahoma City. ... Bonner, the Spurs' fun-loving forward, is playing along with the ribbing he is getting about the mask he must wear to protect the broken nose he sustained Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers. Duncan, who owns a vehicle customization shop, offered a custom-paint job for the clear mask and Parker joked that Bonner could `'scare Durant" with it. Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News jokingly asked if the injury ends Bonner's hopes of a modeling career once his NBA days are over. `'I can still be a hand model," Bonner said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Research Notes

    Kevin Durant scored 16 points and Reggie Jackson scored 18 of his career-high 27 points as the pick-and-roll ball handlers Wednesday. The Spurs have given up 16.4 points to pick-and-roll ball handlers per game this season (second-worst in the NBA).
    Nearly half of Tony Parker's points (18) came off of 14 drives. Parker was 6-of-10 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Parker is second in the NBA, averaging 10.7 drives per game and scoring 6.8 points per game according to player-tracking data.
    Kevin Durant drove to the basket 14 times, which resulted in 21 Thunder points (14 points and 3 assists). His season averages as highlighted by player-tracking data on are 5.7 drives per game and 7.9 team points per game.
    Kevin Durant has really stepped up his game since Russell Westbrook went down with an injury. He's increased his scoring average by more than 8 points per game, and he's taking more shots AND shooting better from the floor.
    The question tonight will be can Kevin Durant get 30 points against the Spurs. Lately, he hasn't been able to reach that mark against San Antonio:
    Kevin Durant has played 789 minutes with Russell Westbrook this season and 799 without him ... Per 40 minutes, Durant has increased his scoring output by 8.2 points with Westbrook off the court while shooting a higher percentage and assisting at virtually the same rate.
    Kevin Durant: 7 first-half turnovers (most in ANY half in his career)
    Durant's going after his 4th scoring title and he currently has a comfortable lead as LeBron James sits in second, 4.7 points behind. He'd become just the 5th player in NBA history to win at least 4 scoring titles. Pretty impressive considering Durant's just 25 years old and in his 7th season.
    From Elias: Kevin Durant owns the 4 highest scoring games in the NBA this season. The last time a player held the 4 highest scoring games of the season entering games on January 22nd was Michael Jordan in 1988-89 (posted single-game totals of 53, 52, 52, 52).

    ESPN Stats & Information