SAN ANTONIO: Russell Westbrook scored 31 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder in a victory over the San Antonio Spurs 113-100 in a Saturday (Sunday in Manila) showdown of NBA division leaders.
Westbrook, who hit 13-of-22 from the floor and added eight assists for the Thunder, netted 11 points in the third quarter as Oklahoma City improved the NBA’s best record to 22-4, while the Spurs fell to 21-6.
It was the Thunder’s ninth victory in a row and fifth road triumph in a row, while San Antonio lost for the second time in four games.
Reggie Jackson came off the Thunder bench to contribute 21 points while Kevin Durant scored 17 points and Spanish Olympian Serge Ibaka scored 14 points and pulled down 14 rebounds for Northwest division leader Oklahoma City, which stayed just atop Portland (22-5).
The Spurs welcomed back star French guard Tony Parker after a bruised right shin had sidelined him for two games, and Parker responded with team-highs of 23 points and eight assists.
But it was not enough for San Antonio, which also had 17 points each from Tim Duncan and Italy’s Marco Belinelli, plus 14 points off the bench by Frenchman Boris Diaw and 11 by Argentine star reserve guard Manu Ginobili.
Belinelli netted all of his points in the first half, aided by shooting 5-of-6 from 3-point range, while Duncan had 10 rebounds and Thiago Splitter grabbed 11 rebounds for the Spurs, who remain atop the Southwest division.
The Thunder closed the first half strong to seize a 61-50 edge and Oklahoma city kept an 85-76 advantage entering the fourth quarter.
San Antonio opened with a Danny Green hoop and back-to-back Diaw baskets to trim the deficit to 85-82, but Durant and Ibaka each hit key late 3-pointers and the Thunder silenced the rally to shut down the Spurs.
Together with Portland and Eastern Conference rivals Indiana (21-5) and Miami (20-6), the Thunder and Spurs have been among a handful of squads who have dominated the NBA through the first two months of the season.