Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

April 4, 2014

Thunder wins, ends San Antonio's long winning streak

OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant's rare streak of games with least 25 points continued, and San Antonio's run of 19 straight wins came to a halt.

Another streak might mean more than both of them — Oklahoma City's season sweep. Durant scored 28 points and Russell Westbrook scored 27 to help the Thunder defeat San Antonio 106-94 on Thursday night in a showdown of the top two teams in the Western Conference. Oklahoma City won all four games against the Spurs this season, and this was the most lopsided result.

"That's a big thing," Westbrook said. "When you have a team that's a good basketball team — they're the No. 1 team in the West, and we want to be the best team, you've got to beat the best. I think we did a great job of that tonight."

Serge Ibaka added 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder, who trail San Antonio by three games with eight remaining.

Durant scored at least 25 points for the 39th consecutive game, the longest streak since Michael Jordan did it 40 consecutive times during the 1986-87 season. He reached 25 on a free throw with 3:31 remaining, drawing a roar from the crowd.

"That was a cool feeling," Durant said. "I don't want to take those moments for granted. It's not what I'm really playing the game for, but it is still cool to see that support from such great fans, no matter what."

Durant can match Jordan's mark, the longest such streak in the past 50 years, Friday in Houston.

"That's a lot of games to be scoring 25 points in a row," Westbrook said. "You can't just not think about that. That's an unbelievable stat. I think he may just finish the season doing that. He does that in his sleep."

The Thunder shot 59 percent in the second half to pull away. Oklahoma City scored 30 points off San Antonio's 19 turnovers.

"Too many turnovers led to too many points, and that's the ballgame," San Antonio guard Danny Green said. "If we changed that, it's probably a totally different game."

Patty Mills scored 21 points and Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan each added 17 for the Spurs, who hadn't lost since Feb. 21.

"We never thought about the streak in the first place," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "To us, it is just another game."

Spurs reserve Manu Ginobili did not play. The veteran guard was not listed on the injury report, and Popovich did not explain why Ginobili was out.

Oklahoma City trailed 51-43 in the second quarter before Westbrook drained a 3-pointer, then made a layup with 2.6 seconds left in the first half to cut the deficit to 51-48 at halftime. Westbrook had struggled with his shot before that flurry.

"You may miss a few shots here and there, but you've got to keep your mind in the game and stay in the moment," Westbrook said.

The Thunder continued their surge in the second half. Rookie Andre Roberson hit a 3-pointer gave the Thunder a 57-56 lead. A lob from Reggie Jackson to Durant for a dunk gave Oklahoma City a 75-65 lead. Durant hit a running jumper in the closing seconds of the third quarter to put the Thunder up 80-71. He scored 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting in the period.

Oklahoma City pushed its lead to 16, but San Antonio went on an 8-0 run to pull to 91-83.

The Thunder regained control. Westbrook got into the open court, clutched and threw down a reverse dunk to bump Oklahoma City's lead back up to 95-83 with 5:25 to play.

"We just made the second and third efforts," Durant said. "We did a good job of helping each other on the defensive end, and once you do that, you give yourself a good chance."

The Spurs said they will study the game and move forward.

"You can learn a lot from a loss," Green said. "Obviously, I'd rather learn from a win, but sometimes, you feel like you can learn more from a loss. We'll go back to the drawing board tonight."

Text Only
Sports
  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.

    July 28, 2014

  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • BobBowlsby.jpg Media Week: Change is coming

    Changes are coming to college athletics.
    That was the theme of the state of the conference speech by Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the first day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peterson.jpg Cowboy quandary: OSU defense trying to replace seven starters

    A year after the best defensive team in the Mike Gundy era, the questions now surround how those few returning starters and second-year defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer can maintain that high level of efficiency.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Really one true champion?

    I decided to spare the colleagues in front of me – and myself from making a scene – by holding back flipping my table at the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days in Dallas.
    I had become exhausted by the constant use and misrepresentation by the Big 12 with their moniker of “One True Champion.” If they are going to live with the slogan, then they need to abide by that slogan.
    Perhaps its a simple case that they are keeping constant with the poor math of the 10-team Big 12 Conference.

    July 23, 2014

  • Hill expected to be used in multiple facets

    The picture became a little clearer recently of how Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year Tyreek Hill will be utilized in the Oklahoma State offense.
    And the picture is rather wide.

    July 23, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Stocks