OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)—Tim Duncan had 25 points and 15 rebounds, and Drew Gooden provided a needed lift off the bench as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 99-89 Tuesday night in their first game since learning Manu Ginobili would miss the rest of the season.
Tony Parker added 21 points and 10 assists, while Gooden scored 20 points for his highest total since being picked up off waivers by the Spurs in early March.
Duncan had three baskets in a 10-2 spurt as the Spurs pulled away after Oklahoma City had closed within one early in the fourth quarter. He pushed San Antonio’s lead to 87-78 with 4:53 remaining when he picked up a loose ball under the basket and dropped it in for a layup.
Gooden iced the game with a 20-foot jumper from the left corner with just under 2 minutes left to push the lead to double digits for the first time, and Michael Finley’s 3-pointer pushed the lead to 97-85.
Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 24 points. Jeff Green added 16 points and Thabo Sefolosha had 13 points and nine rebounds.
San Antonio was able to end Oklahoma City’s inexplicable mastery of the Spurs in recent weeks. The Thunder had been 3-9 in their previous 12 games, but two of the wins came against the Spurs—including their only road win against a team over .500 this season.
Despite being the third-worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA, the Thunder had outperformed the Spurs—the league’s third-best team from 3-point range— from behind the arc in both of those wins. That trend continued as Oklahoma City had an uncharacteristic 6-for-9 night from 3-point range while San Antonio went 6-for-15.
The Spurs still were able to come through with Gooden serving as a temporary fill-in for Ginobili in the Big Three.
Gooden went 7-for-14 in 29 minutes, his most playing time since joining San Antonio, and the Spurs were kept from falling farther in the Western Conference standings.
Duncan broke a 66-all tie with a free throw with 5:17 left in the third quarter and then followed it with a layup as the Spurs took the lead for good.
Oklahoma City got back within 77-76 on Shaun Livingston’s jumper in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter before Gooden hit two free throws and Duncan followed it with back-to-back layups to build back the Spurs’ cushion.
Oklahoma City led by as many as nine in the first half before allowing the Spurs to come back and take a 51-50 lead at the half. The Thunder then scored on their first six possessions of the second half in a flurry of six quick lead changes, but then gave away a four-point edge by turning the ball over on four of their next five possessions.