Behind LaMarcus Aldridge’s career-best 56, Spurs outlast Thunder in 2OT

Gregg Popovich Steven Adams

Post Up: LaMarcus Aldridge Drops 5️⃣6️⃣, Russell Westbrook Dishes 2️⃣4️⃣ Dimes in 2OT

During one stretch in the first quarter, Marco Belinelli knocked down three 3-pointers in a span of less than a minute. The six-time All-Star scored seven points in double-OT to finally give the Spurs a victory that appeared over before a furious comeback attempt by the Thunder.

SAN ANTONIO- The Spurs started hotter than ever from 3-point range Thursday night.

Yet as the Spurs looked to close things out, their attention went away from the three-point line, and to the inside, where LaMarcus Aldridge could not be stopped.

Yet, the Thunder threw just enough double teams at Aldridge, and Westbrook saw just enough open shooters-like when he found Terrance Ferguson behind the line and across the court with less than a minute left to tie the game at 126-to keep the Spurs working.

Aldridge surpassed his previous career high of 45 points, which he set against Utah on March 23, 2018.

LMA. LaMarcus Aldridge was a man among boys in this one.

"I was just trying to be dominant", said Aldridge, clutching the game ball. He's always been known as a Thunder killer and he proved it yet again tonight.

Nikola Jokic recorded his second triple-double in as many games as he led the Nuggets to a win that was never close. In total, they hit 16-of-19 for a blistering 84.2 percent conversion rate.

Aldridge wanted the ball both during the game, and after.

Westbrook set an National Basketball Association season-high for assists with another triple-double, logging 24 points, 24 assists and 13 rebounds. The Thunder, who shot 51 per cent, are 9-2 when shooting 50 per cent or better. There was a questionable technical foul called on Paul George and another call that negated a potential four-point play for Oklahoma City, but the final difference maker was Aldridge.

The extra sessions belonged to Aldridge, who followed James Harden, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Blake Griffin, Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose to become the ninth player to score 50 or more this season. DeMar DeRozan missed a jumper at the close of regulation. Ferg is now 11-of-14 from deep over the last two games. He shot 10-of-20 from the field, grabbed five offensive rebounds, and was a big part of the Thunder's comeback in the fourth quarter.

The Thunder lost their seventh straight in San Antonio despite Westbrook's huge game. He scored a career-high 25 points, added 12 rebounds, and swatted three shots in his 44 minutes. With full credit for the effort, contesting the rim is not one of them. Belinelli and Davis Bertans combined to go 9-for-9 from 3-point range to lead a Spurs team that came into the contest averaging the fewest attempts per game from range, while connecting on the highest percentage. The ESPN broadcast said he had already been diagnosed with a sprained ankle, so his status for Saturday's rematch is worth monitoring.

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