OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Russell Westbrook had his 31st triple-double of the season to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs 102-92 on Thursday night.
Westbrook had 23 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists to match Wilt Chamberlain’s 1967-68 campaign for the second-most triple-doubles in a season.
Victor Oladipo scored 20 points, and Enes Kanter added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder. They snapped a four-game losing streak.
Kawhi Leonard scored 19 points for the Spurs. They had had won nine straight. San Antonio dropped two games behind the Golden State Warriors in the race for the best record in the NBA.
Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Kyle Anderson sat out for the Spurs. Ginobili rested, Parker had back stiffness and Anderson had a sprained right knee.
Westbrook scored 15 points in the first half, and the Thunder led 56-49 at the break. Pau Gasol had 16 points in the half for the Spurs.
Oladipo hit two 3-pointers and converted a 3-point play during a run that helped the Thunder take a 73-63 lead. Oklahoma City led 82-71 at the end of the third quarter.
Westbrook clinched the triple-double on a rebound with 7:17 to play. He made a 3-pointer with just under six minutes remaining to push the lead to 96-80. An alley-oop pass from Westbrook to Oladipo put the Thunder up 18 with just over three minutes left.
Spurs: G Danny Green went scoreless in the first half and didn’t take a shot in 17:31. He finished with nine points. … Green and Thunder center Steven Adams were called for double technical fouls after exchanging shoves in the third quarter.
Thunder: Domantas Sabonis, a rookie, came off the bench for the first time in his NBA career. He gave the team a spark with a poster dunk over Dewayne Dedmon in the second quarter. … Semaj Christon regained his No. 2 point guard spot from Norris Cole. … F Taj Gibson got his first start as a Thunder player in Sabonis’ place.
The Spurs host Golden State on Saturday.
The Thunder host Utah on Saturday.
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP
In his first night back from an ankle injury that forced him to miss six games, Stephen Curry limped off the court not to return after in third quarter Friday night after JaVale McGee fell into his knee.
He limped to the bench then eventually to the locker room after the injury.
The severity of the injury is not yet known and should become clear on Saturday after an MRI.
Curry scored 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds before being forced to leave the game, and the Warriors held on to win the game.
Obviously, if Curry is out heading into the playoffs, that changes the dynamic in the West, where the Houston Rockets were already right on the heels of the Warriors.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Bojan Bogdanovic scored 28 points and the Indiana Pacers used a late 9-0 run to hold on for a 109-104 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night, putting them on the precipice of clinching a playoff spot.
The Pacers won for only the second time in five games but can clinch a playoff berth with one more win or a Detroit loss.
Los Angeles’ fading playoff aspirations were dealt another blow. The Clippers are now three games behind Utah for the final postseason spot in the Western Conference. Utah was playing later Friday.
Lou Williams led Los Angeles with 27 points and DeAndre Jordan finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds as the Clippers lost for the fifth time in six games.
They certainly had a chance to turn things around.
After the Clippers rallied from an 18-point deficit to take an 88-87 lead with 7:36 left in the fourth quarter, the teams traded the lead 10 times before Victor Oladipo made one of two free throws to leave it tied at 100 with 2:17 to play.
Bogdanovic broke the tie with a 12-footer and the Pacers followed that with seven straight points before Williams made a layup with 12 seconds left to end the run.
The Clippers were making shots early but couldn’t pull away from Indiana.
They led 28-27 after one and allowed Indiana to use a 9-2 spurt midway through the second quarter to erase a six-point deficit and take a 40-39 lead.
The Pacers scored the final five points of the half to break a 53-all tie and broke it open early in the third when Oladipo made his first three shots of the game, including two 3-pointers to make it 66-55.
Indiana then poured it on. Thaddeus Young‘s layup with 9:02 left in the third made it a 12-point game. Milos Teodosic‘s basket briefly halted the run, but the Pacers scored the next nine points to make it 75-57 with 6:19 to go.
Los Angeles closed the third quarter on a 12-5 run to get to 82-76.
Cleveland fans can only hope Sam Darnold is as good a passer as LeBron James.
And that his receivers are better than Jose Calderon. Or at least taller.
LeBron James grabbed a rebound and threw a perfect touchdown pass to a leaked out Jose Calderon as the Cavaliers went on to beat the Phoenix Suns Friday night.
By the way, LeBron made a nice dish to the returned Larry Nance Jr., too.
Finally healthy, it was easy to see where big man Brandan Wright would fit on Mike D’Antoni’s Rockets — he’s an athletic big man who can get up and down the court, he knows how to finish lobs above the rim, and could provide some front line depth behind Clint Capela and Nene. That’s why the Rockets picked him up in February after he was bought out by the Grizzlies.
It didn’t work out that way. Wright played in one game with Houston before his sore knee forced him to shut it down. He has not played since.
The Rockets are moving on, waiving Wright and bringing in forward Le’Bryan Nash out of the G-League on a 10-day contract, reports Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
With center Brandan Wright unable to return from his knee issues this season, the Rockets will release Wright, who signed as a free agent last month, a person with knowledge of the move said…
He had a minor procedure and will work on his rehab with the Rockets staff, the individual familiar with the plans said.
“Brandan did everything positive,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He just wasn’t physically able to hang in there. We hate it that the guy isn’t part of this.”
Wright has played in just 28 total this season averaging 5 points and 3.4 rebounds in 13.6 minutes. He’s battled knee issues for a few seasons now and has not played more than 28 games in the last three. If healthy he can help teams, but we’ll see if he ever gets back into the NBA.
The Rockets use Ryan Anderson as their backup center, using Nene less of late, although how much D’Antoni can use Anderson in the playoffs due to his defensive challenges remains to be seen.
Nash, who played a season at Oklahoma State, will get his first taste of the NBA. He was a highly recruited kid out of high school, and this season has averaged 8.5 points in 19 minutes per game for the Rio Grande Vipers this season.