The game featured a career-high 56 points from LaMarcus Aldridge, which is the most points for a Spurs player since Tony Parker scored 44 points in 2008, and the most points without a 3-pointer since Shaquille O'Neal in 2000. After an offseason of turmoil for the rising superstar, DeMar DeRozan is playing the most complete basketball of his life under Pop's game plan while Aldridge continues to anchor his team on both ends of the court.
The matchup went into double-overtime and packed the energy and intensity of nothing short of a high-stakes playoff game, with the Spurs ending up on the winning side of an astronomical 154-147 scoreline. Aldridge made 20 of 33 field-goal attempts. "He really carried us", said Derrick White. Sacramento took advantage of Pistons standout Blake Griffin having the night off to rest with an emotional meeting with his former team, the Los Angeles Clippers, set for Saturday afternoon.
That's what LaMarcus Aldridge's Portland Trail Blazers teammates used to shout when Aldridge got the ball - usually in the mid-range or in the post - before he devoured his opponent.
"I'm sure I said it, but not with my mouth", Aldridge said. "I was just trying to get to the rim".
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He made a huge block on Jerami Grant in double overtime and caught an elbow in the process.
Seven different Kings scored double-digit points - Willie Cauley-Stein, Iman Shumpert, Buddy Hield, De'Aaron Fox, Marving Bagley III, Harry Giles and Yogi Ferrell - as Sacramento held on after a 65-point first half. Plus a small cut on the left side of his forehead that was taped up. San Antonio finished the game 16-for-19 from 3-point range, making 84.2 percent.
Aldridge finished 16 of 16 from the free-throw line, and the Spurs made their final 23 foul shots to end up 26 of 29.
Thunder: San Antonio's 16 3-pointers tied the most Oklahoma City has allowed this season, which came November 19 at Sacramento.
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Mason Plumlee had 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Malik Beasley scored 15 points for Denver, which has won seven of its past eight games.
Steven Adams left the game midway through the fourth quarter with a twisted left ankle but came back to rattle home a dunk off yet another Westbrook dish with 25.5 seconds to play in the first overtime, again tying the game. With an unfamiliar rough patch facing them in recent times, they have now lost six of their previous ten, falling as far as 3.5 games below the apex. Theyalso have a variety of different ways of actually get Aldridge into that position, so even when you know it's coming, it's hard to stop him from getting to his hot spot.
When that wasn't enough to put away the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio got the extra push it needed from its big man in the middle.
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