KAWHI Leonard took over in the fourth quarter to help the San Antonio Spurs recover from squandering an 18-point lead to pull away over the Oklahoma City Thunder, 108-94, at the AT&T Center on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time).
Leonard scored 12 of his 36 in the final period where the Spurs outscored the Thunder 29-19 after wasting an 18-point third quarter lead.
The Spurs closed the first quarter with a 13-0 run to take control early. San Antonio led by as much as 18 early in the third before the Russell Westbrook led a 25-4 blitz to give Oklahoma City the lead late in the period.
But with Westbrook sitting on the bench to start the fourth, the Spurs took advantage and regained control with a 12-4 start in the period to lead by 12, 91-79, with more than seven minutes left.
Leonard and Danny Green sank back-to-back triples midway through the period to get the Spurs back up by 17, 99-82. Then LaMarcus Aldridge joined the late San Antonio onslaught with a three-point play to extend the lead to 20, 104-84, with over three minutes to play.
Domantas Sabonis hit consecutive treys to cut the gap down to 16 but the Thunder’s comeback bid was doomed by a couple of missed shots and turnovers late as both teams put in the reserves with over two minutes left and the Spurs comfortably up by 18.
Leonard added eight rebounds and four assists to his totals to lead the Spurs in ending their two-game skid and move to 37-11. Aldridge was the only other San Antonio player in double figures with 25 points.
Westbrook had 27 points, none in the fourth quarter, as the Thunder fell to 28-21 after their second loss in a row. Steven Adams added a double-double of 16 markers and 12 rebounds, while Sabonis also doubled up with 13 points and 10 boards. Victor Oladipo chipped in 15.