SAN ANTONIO — Even though star brazen Kawhi Leonard and maestro indicate ensure Tony Parker, a San Antonio Spurs managed to overcome a 23-point necessity to win over a Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, restraining a largest quip feat so distant this NBA season.
The win also ranked as a franchise’s third-largest quip feat underneath manager Gregg Popovich.
“It was a excellent win,” Popovich said. “The guys unequivocally dug deep, battered a rock. We kept a good attitude, and they only kept their minds on personification simple basketball and things incited their way. The bid was great, and they played a lot smarter in a second half. They took caring of a ball, and only showed a lot of courage. Overall, a good group win.”
San Antonio trailed by 23 points (43-20) with 9:28 remaining in a initial half in vast partial due to a catastrophic opening entertain in that a Spurs incited over a round 7 times while knocking down only 6 domain goals. Veteran Manu Ginobili committed 4 of those turnovers as San Antonio connected on only 6-of-19 from a floor.
But magnetism never set in for a shorthanded Spurs patrol opposite an Oklahoma City Thunder group featuring a contingent of bona fide stars in Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and reigning MVP Russell Westbrook.
“Pop doesn’t let we feel contemptible for yourself,” pronounced energy brazen LaMarcus Aldridge, who scored a game-high 26 points, including a putback off a Danny Green skip with 24.2 seconds remaining to assistance San Antonio safety a win.
The 23-point domain was equal to that of a Cavaliers’ quip win over a Knicks on Monday.
At a end of Friday’s contest, Popovich told ESPN’s Doris Burke that a group gifted “an opinion change from ‘poor me’ to ‘screw you.'”
Green positively served as a matter in a effort. Although a harmed Leonard receives many of a approval as San Antonio’s best defender, Green is entrance off a 2016-17 deteriorate in that he was comparison to a NBA’s all-defensive second team. He looked a partial fortifying Westbrook.
Westbrook strike his initial dual shots of a night, though connected on only 3 of his final 20 attempts, including 1-of-10 when rhythmical by Green.
“It was a large one for us, a gutsy one,” Green said. “We grinded it out and came back. So it was a lot of fun. Those games are always a good challenge. We came into a joining to play in those forms of games.”
The Spurs started off a second entertain trailing by 14 points and cut that necessity to 7 by halftime. San Antonio finally tied a diversion during 78 with 38.3 seconds left in a third entertain on a 27-foot jumper by Davis Bertans off a Dejounte Murray assist.
“They only came back,” Westbrook said. “They played faster and did a good pursuit of removing themselves behind in a game.”
A Ginobili 3-pointer to start off a fourth entertain gave San Antonio a initial lead (81-78) given Green put a Spurs forward 2-0 only 5 seconds into a diversion when they cumulative a opening tip.
The Thunder contingent of Westbrook, Anthony and George started off attack 8-of-16 in a opening quarter. From a second entertain on, they sum to bond on 11-of-39, and contributed a sum of 24 points in a second half.
Meanwhile, San Antonio’s trio of Aldridge, Pau Gasol and Ginobili came together for 30 on 8-of-13 sharpened in a second half.
“It takes one, dual plays, 3 in a row,” Gasol said. “But you’ve got to start somewhere to spin it around. We knew there was a lot of ballgame to be played. So we had still a domain to get behind into a game, give ourselves a chance. we consider a group showed a lot of heart, a lot of impression tonight by not giving up. We fought, and we got rewarded.”
ESPN Stats and Information contributed to this report.