Jalen Williams racked up 21 points and 10 assists and Josh Giddey added 15 points and 11 rebounds as the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the San Antonio Spurs 102-90 on Sunday to stay in the hunt for a spot in the postseason.
The Thunder swept a road back-to-back that started Saturday night with a win in New Orleans. They played without leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is managing an abdominal injury.
Oklahoma City led by as many as 17 points in the second period, by five at the half and, after the Spurs tied the score early in the third quarter, by seven heading into the fourth. The Thunder were never seriously challenged down the stretch, winning for the fifth time in six games.
Ousmane Dieng scored a career-high 17 points for Oklahoma City, with Luguentz Dort scoring 12 and Dario Saric adding 10.
Zach Collins led San Antonio with 23 points and 11 rebounds while Devonte’ Graham hit for 20 points, Keita Bates-Diop tallied 12 and Doug McDermott had 11. The Spurs, fresh off a win over West-leading Denver on Friday, played without starters Keldon Johnson (left foot soreness), Jeremy Sochan (right knee soreness) and Tre Jones (non-COVID illness).
On Sunday, Oklahoma City wiped away an early five-point deficit to lead by 10 after Dieng’s layup with 20.2 seconds left in the first quarter.
Aaron Wiggins’ running 3-pointer at the 9:12 mark of the second quarter capped a 14-point run for the Thunder and gave them a 36-19 advantage, their largest of the half. After some back-and-forth play Oklahoma City’s Lindy Waters III had a 3-pointer and three free throws in a 25-second span to give the Thunder a 15-point lead.
But the Spurs answered, scoring 20 of the quarter’s final 30 points to claw to within 52-47 at the break.
Collins led all scorers with 13 points at the break, with Dieng pacing the Thunder with 11. San Antonio held the Thunder to 33.3 percent shooting in the half but also committed 11 turnovers before halftime.
The Spurs tied the game at 59-59 on Collins’ step-back 3-pointer with 9:12 to play in the third period. Oklahoma City then scored the ensuing 10 points to jump back to the front.