Monday, December 18, 2017
Sports

Thunder stifles Spurs

OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook had 40 points and 10 assists, and the Thunder beat the Spurs 105-92 on Tuesday night to tie the Western Conference title series at two games apiece.

It matched the second-highest playoff point total of Westbrook's career, falling short of his 43 in the 2012 NBA Finals. He also had five rebounds and five steals.

"I think I did all right. Coming out with a win is most important," Westbrook said in a postgame interview with TNT. "I just try to come out and give maximum effort. My teammates ask that of me and that's what I try to do on both ends of the floor."

Kevin Durant added 31 points on 11-for-22 shooting. It was his highest-scoring game of the series after the NBA's leading scorer was held to a 22.7-point average in the first three games. Serge Ibaka added nine points and eight rebounds for the Thunder, which has turned around the series since he returned from an injury that was expected to keep him out for the rest of the postseason.

Boris Diaw had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Tony Parker added 14 points for the Spurs, who blew a 2-0 lead against the Thunder in this round two years ago.

Thunder 105, Spurs 92

SAN ANTONIO (92): Leonard 3-9 2-2 10, Duncan 3-8 3-4 9, Splitter 1-3 1-2 3, Parker 7-12 0-0 14, Green 1-4 0-0 3, Ginobili 2-8 0-0 5, Diaw 5-11 2-2 14, Mills 2-9 0-0 4, Belinelli 2-4 2-2 7, Joseph 4-7 3-4 11, Baynes 0-3 2-2 2, Bonner 3-4 0-0 8, Ayres 0-1 2-4 2. Totals 33-83 17-22 92.

OKLAHOMA CITY (105): Durant 11-22 7-9 31, Ibaka 4-8 1-4 9, Perkins 1-1 0-0 2, Westbrook 12-24 14-14 40, Jackson 1-5 0-0 3, Lamb 2-7 2-2 7, Butler 2-3 0-0 4, Adams 2-3 0-2 4, Fisher 1-2 0-0 3, Collison 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 37-76 24-31 105.

San Antonio 20 23 24 25— 92

Oklahoma City 26 32 25 22— 105

3-Point GoalsSan Antonio 9-27 (Bonner 2-3, Leonard 2-5, Diaw 2-6, Belinelli 1-1, Green 1-2, Ginobili 1-4, Parker 0-1, Mills 0-5), Oklahoma City 7-16 (Durant 2-4, Westbrook 2-5, Fisher 1-1, Lamb 1-2, Jackson 1-2, Ibaka 0-1, Butler 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsSan Antonio 51 (Diaw 10), Oklahoma City 50 (Perkins 10). AssistsSan Antonio 17 (Duncan, Parker 4), Oklahoma City 22 (Westbrook 10). Total FoulsSan Antonio 22, Oklahoma City 20. TechnicalsSan Antonio Coach Popovich. A18,203 (18,203).

Sterling responds

Clippers owner Donald Sterling responded to the NBA's attempt to oust him on Tuesday, arguing there is no basis for stripping him of his team because his racist statements were illegally recorded "during an inflamed lovers' quarrel in which he was clearly distraught." Meanwhile, the attorney for Shelly Sterling confirmed her husband has given her written permission to sell the team. Owners are scheduled to meet June 3 in New York. The league said in a statement Tuesday that if owners voted to sustain the damaging the league charge, "the Sterlings' interests in the Clippers will be terminated and the team will be sold." That requires a three-quarters vote by the 30 owners.

Grizzlies: Owner Robert Pera signed Dave Joerger to a contract extension just days after allowing the coach to speak to the Timberwolves about their vacancy. Joerger said on ESPN 92.9 FM in Memphis that Pera guaranteed the fourth year of his contract with a fifth year a team option. Joerger went 50-32 for the best record among 10 first-year coaches and helped Memphis earn the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference.

Pacers: The NBA fined forward Paul George $25,000 Tuesday for his public criticism of the officiating in the Eastern Conference Game 4 loss Monday to Miami.

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