Last Night, In Basketball: LaMarcus Aldridge Feasted On The Left Block

Rex Christensen
January 13, 2019

The Oklahoma City Thunder (26-16) corrected course on Saturday night in Oklahoma City, snapping a three-game losing streak by beating the San Antonio Spurs (25-19) by a final score of 122-112 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

LaMarcus dropped a career-high 56 points, 16 of which came from his ideal free-throw shooting on the night.

Of the 10 Spurs who saw action, seven of them scored in double figures.

Perhaps the Spurs had no idea what to expect as coaches established Gregg Popovich's system and its concepts to a roster filled with the most new players since the 1992-93 season.

While the game ran well late into the night, those that stayed up to watch it were rewarded with perhaps the game of the season as each team traded clutch shot after clutch shot to extend it to two overtime periods. While his usage is down from past year, Aldridge has done a great job of growing as a player in the latter stages of his career.

Schroder's layup gave the Thunder a 96-87 lead and caused San Antonio to call a timeout, but the onslaught continued.

During one stretch in the first quarter, Marco Belinelli knocked down three 3-pointers in a span of less than a minute. "That I feel like it should have happened in my career".

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"For it to go down to the wire with a team that's hot like that, we have a lot to take away for us, for how we played", Oklahoma City forward Paul George said. It was Westbrook's second career 20-10-20 game, putting him behind only Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson (both with three) in that category, according to ESPN. With that being said, I think the Thunder bounce back with a statement win at home in this one.

Oklahoma City entered the game having held opponents to 33.3 percent shooting from 3-point range, the third-lowest in the league, but the Thunder couldn't contain San Antonio early. "They doubled me in every way". With the impressive win, San Antonio improved to 25-18 on the season and 18-5 at home where they've now won seven in a row. San Antonio finished the game 16-for-19 from 3-point range, making 84.2 percent.

Oklahoma City rallied and tied it at 114 with six minutes remaining in regulation when Steven Adams made consecutive follows off misses by Westbrook.

DeRozan missed another jumper with 0.3 seconds left in the first extra period and the Thunder could not put up a shot at the buzzer as White tipped the inbounds pass from Westbrook.

Just a year ago, the San Antonio Spurs were stuck in a storm of uncertainty and panic with the franchise's star mysteriously sidelined along with rotating injuries to key contributors.

DeMar DeRozan struggled from the floor, only hitting 7 of 22 shots, but he still managed to finish with a double-double, 16 points and 11 assists.

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