Aldridge scores 56 as Spurs nip Thunder in 2 OTs

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich jokes that Steven Adams'scares him

San Antonio Spurs' LaMarcus Aldridge (12) stands next to DeMar DeRozan during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in San Antonio.

Head to head, the under is 6-2 in the last eight meetings, the Spurs are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings overall but just 5-15 ATS in the last 20 meetings in Oklahoma City. He did it last year and he is doing it this year too. These teams meet again Saturday in Oklahoma City.

Even with Aldridge's performance and a record showing by the Spurs from beyond the arc, Oklahoma City never wavered, tying the game at 130 on a layup by Jerami Grant off a Russell Westbrook assist with 5.6 seconds to play in regulation. White finished with 23 points and Marco Belinelli made all five of his 3-point attempts while scoring 19 points for the Spurs, who have won seven straight at home.

The Spurs have won six of seven and 14 of 18 to close within a game of the Thunder for third place in the Western Conference.

When the final seconds ticked off the clock after Aldridge connected on two free throws to finish 16-of-16 from the line, he walked over to a referee and grabbed the ball before leaving the floor celebrating with teammates, new keepsake in hand. George scored 30 points, and Grant added 25 points and 12 rebounds but fouled out with 25 seconds remaining in the second overtime.

Early in his tenure with the San Antonio Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge wasn't always comfortable. Eventually Pop realized that he should just play to his player's strengths, and now the entire Spurs machine is centered on what Aldridge does best.

The Other Guys. Seven Spurs scored in double-figures, including Aldridge (56), Derrick White (23), Belinelli (19), DeRozan (16), Bryn Forbes (14), Patty Mills (14), and Davis Bertans (12). "So, I do it every night". San Antonio made its first 14 3-point attempts to start the game. Their three-point onslaught continued after halftime, as they hit four more to start 14-of-14 before finally misfiring.

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.

And that, along with the Spurs' ridiculous 3-point shooting and a massive block by White down the stretch, is what it took against a game opponent in a contest with zero margin for error.

Westbrook's dime bonanza was indeed spectacular, as he accounted for 55 points just off his assists - almost two-thirds of OKC's made shots while he took the floor.

Such a brilliant night for Aldridge seemed nearly inconceivable in November, when the veteran suffered through a shooting slump that saw him score six points on 3-of-12 shooting against the Phoenix Suns and 10 points on 3-of-15 shooting in 38 minutes against the Clippers on back-to-back nights. Aldridge has 17,758 career points, passing Magic Johnson for 78th on the NBA's all-time scoring list.



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