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Aldridge's double-double moves Spurs past Thunder, 103-99

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Needing a win to strengthen their playoff hopes, the Spurs turned to the only things they have been able to rely on this season.

Defense and LaMarcus Aldridge.

Aldridge had 25 points and 11 rebounds while playing through an ailing knee, and San Antonio held off the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-99 on Thursday night to climb back into fourth place in the Western Conference.

Aldridge played despite bruising his left knee following a collision in Tuesday's 116-106 loss to Washington. The Spurs are already without an injured Kawhi Leonard, so they desperately needed Aldridge as they battle for a playoff berth.

''Playing without (Aldridge) at this level is almost like handing a win,'' San Antonio veteran Manu Ginobili said. ''He's become so important and we depend on him so much that it could have been almost impossible. Great to see him compete like that and fight through the pain and have a great game.''

The Spurs matched Oklahoma City at 44-32 in jumping two spots in the standings. The Thunder are fifth, a half-game ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Aldridge scored 19 points in the first half, then drove past Steven Adams for a dunk and a three-point lead with 52 seconds left as the Spurs snapped a two-game slide.

Aldridge played 34 minutes, shooting 9 for 19 while scoring 20-plus points for the 47th time this season.

''Just trying to keep guys motivated, into it,'' Aldridge said. ''We've already been offensively challenged this year, so when I'm not in the game, it makes it even harder on us. So, I thought guys definitely felt more comfortable that I was out there.''

Paul George led Oklahoma City with 26 points and had six assists. Russell Westbrook added 19 points and 11 rebounds, but had a pair of 3-pointers miss the rim and land out of bounds in the final minutes.

Both teams experienced scoring droughts, resulting in 10 lead changes and seven ties.

''As I've said all along, the defense is what we have to be good at because we're going to have nights where our scoring isn't great,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

San Antonio held Oklahoma City to 18 points in the fourth quarter by limiting the Thunder to 27 percent shooting.

Patty Mills and Davis Bertans hit back-to-back 3s to give the Spurs a 94-87 lead with 4 minutes remaining. The Thunder made only two field goals between the 10:34 and 3:17 mark of the fourth but still were within a basket with less than 2 minutes remaining.

''I thought we had some shots that just didn't go down,'' Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan said. ''They were in drop coverage. I thought we missed some pull-up jump shots that we had relatively good looks at. I thought we had some things around the basket that we didn't finish that we had the opportunity to finish, and then I think we had some possessions that weren't great.''

George sank three free throws to pull Oklahoma City within 97-96, but Aldridge scored before Westbrook shot an airball on a 3-pointer with 14 seconds remaining.

Westbrook was asked if he had any second thoughts about those final shots.

''What do you think?'' Westbrook said. ''You know me.''

Oklahoma City took advantage of San Antonio's offensive troubles when Aldridge exited, going on a 13-2 run beginning midway through the third quarter in taking a 74-68 lead.

The Spurs had 18 turnovers, including three in the first four minutes. The Thunder had 17 points off the turnovers, but Danny Green ensured it wasn't more. Green ran down George from behind following a steal in the third quarter, swatting away a layup attempt near the rim.

George had four steals.

TIP-INS

Thunder: George fell to the court after taking an elbow to the back of the head from Green with 2 minutes remaining. George rose with some assistance but remained in the game following a timeout. ... Oklahoma City's last win in San Antonio was Dec. 25, 2014. ... The Thunder are 18-19 on the road. ... Corey Brewer is averaging 10.5 points since signing with the Thunder on March 3, more than doubling his previous average of 4.5 points. Brewer has played 12 games with the Thunder after 65 games with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Spurs: Aldridge has 67 games in double figures this season, the most he has had since joining the Spurs. ... Kyle Anderson had his only two steals of the game in the opening minute. ... The Spurs started Aldridge, Mills, Anderson, Pau Gasol and Dejounte Murray for the fifth time this season.

SPECIAL PLAYER

Ginobili is now the Spurs' career leader in steals, passing David Robinson for the franchise record. Ginobili has 1,389 steals, Robinson has 1,388 and Alvin Robertson is third with 1,128.

''Is that right? I didn't know that,'' Popovich said of the record. ''That's pretty special, but it's one of about 27 special things about him.''

UP NEXT

Thunder: Host Denver on Friday night.

Spurs: Host Houston on Sunday afternoon.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
R. Westbrook
0 PG
L. Aldridge
12 PF
33.3 Min. Per Game 33.3
23.1 Pts. Per Game 23.1
2.1 Ast. Per Game 2.1
8.3 Reb. Per Game 8.3
45.1 Field Goal % 50.8
45.1 Three Point % 50.9
73.5 Free Throw % 83.3
  Team rebound 0:01
  Alex Abrines missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:01
+ 1 Manu Ginobili made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:05
+ 1 Manu Ginobili made 1st of 2 free throws 0:05
  Personal foul on Corey Brewer 0:05
+ 3 Paul George made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Corey Brewer 0:08
+ 1 Patty Mills made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:11
+ 1 Patty Mills made 1st of 2 free throws 0:11
  Personal foul on Russell Westbrook 0:11
  Team rebound 0:12
  Russell Westbrook missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:14
Team Stats
Points 99 103
Field Goals 37-85 (43.5%) 34-81 (42.0%)
3-Pointers 11-30 (36.7%) 13-31 (41.9%)
Free Throws 14-21 (66.7%) 22-30 (73.3%)
Total Rebounds 52 58
Offensive 10 14
Defensive 33 34
Team 9 10
Assists 19 22
Steals 11 13
Blocks 3 6
Turnovers 15 16
Fouls 23 18
Technicals 0 0
26 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST
25 PTS, 11 REB, 2 AST
1234T
away team logo Thunder 44-32 2927251899
home team logo Spurs 44-32 24351826103
Team Stats
away team logo Thunder 44-32 101.2 PPG 44 RPG 16.3 APG
home team logo Spurs 44-32 96.8 PPG 37.6 RPG 19.0 APG
Key Players
P. George SF 21.9 PPG 5.7 RPG 3.3 APG 43.0 FG%
L. Aldridge PF 23.1 PPG 8.5 RPG 2.0 APG 51.0 FG%
Top Scorers
P. George SF 26 PTS 7 REB 6 AST
L. Aldridge PF 25 PTS 11 REB 2 AST
43.5 FG% 42.0
36.7 3PT FG% 41.9
66.7 FT% 73.3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
P. George 38 26 7 6 4 0 3 3 9/20 3/6 5/5 0 7 46 +5
R. Westbrook 37 19 11 5 3 1 7 5 7/19 0/4 5/8 1 10 37 +7
C. Brewer 28 14 2 3 2 0 1 4 5/8 1/4 3/4 1 1 23 +6
S. Adams 37 10 13 1 0 0 2 3 5/11 0/0 0/2 5 8 23 +10
C. Anthony 31 9 3 2 2 1 0 2 3/6 3/3 0/0 1 2 19 +12
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
P. George 38 26 7 6 4 0 3 3 9/20 3/6 5/5 0 7 46 +5
R. Westbrook 37 19 11 5 3 1 7 5 7/19 0/4 5/8 1 10 37 +7
C. Brewer 28 14 2 3 2 0 1 4 5/8 1/4 3/4 1 1 23 +6
S. Adams 37 10 13 1 0 0 2 3 5/11 0/0 0/2 5 8 23 +10
C. Anthony 31 9 3 2 2 1 0 2 3/6 3/3 0/0 1 2 19 +12
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
R. Felton 15 10 3 1 0 0 1 2 4/8 2/4 0/0 0 3 14 -16
P. Patterson 12 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 3/3 1/1 0/0 1 0 8 -17
T. Ferguson 13 3 0 1 0 0 0 2 1/4 1/4 0/0 0 0 5 -5
A. Abrines 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/3 0/3 1/2 0 0 1 -9
J. Grant 14 0 3 0 0 1 1 2 0/3 0/1 0/0 1 2 3 -13
K. Singler - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Roberson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Huestis - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Dozier - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Hamilton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Collison - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 234 99 43 19 11 3 15 23 37/85 11/30 14/21 10 33 179 -20
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
L. Aldridge 34 25 11 2 0 2 4 2 9/19 1/1 6/8 6 5 38 -8
P. Mills 33 14 1 1 1 0 5 2 3/12 3/9 5/5 0 1 13 -3
K. Anderson 23 10 0 2 2 0 0 4 4/4 1/1 1/2 0 0 16 +7
D. Murray 30 7 8 7 5 1 2 2 3/8 0/2 1/2 1 7 33 +3
P. Gasol 25 6 12 3 0 1 0 2 2/7 0/1 2/4 2 10 25 +17
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
L. Aldridge 34 25 11 2 0 2 4 2 9/19 1/1 6/8 6 5 38 -8
P. Mills 33 14 1 1 1 0 5 2 3/12 3/9 5/5 0 1 13 -3
K. Anderson 23 10 0 2 2 0 0 4 4/4 1/1 1/2 0 0 16 +7
D. Murray 30 7 8 7 5 1 2 2 3/8 0/2 1/2 1 7 33 +3
P. Gasol 25 6 12 3 0 1 0 2 2/7 0/1 2/4 2 10 25 +17
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Green 26 11 4 0 0 1 0 2 4/9 3/7 0/0 1 3 16 -4
M. Ginobili 14 10 3 0 2 0 1 1 2/4 2/3 4/5 0 3 14 +11
R. Gay 24 9 8 0 2 0 3 2 4/9 1/2 0/0 4 4 16 -13
T. Parker 17 8 0 4 1 0 1 1 2/6 1/2 3/4 0 0 16 -3
D. Bertans 9 3 1 3 0 1 0 0 1/3 1/3 0/0 0 1 11 +13
K. Leonard - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Lauvergne - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Hilliard - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Paul - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Costello - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Forbes - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. White - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 103 48 22 13 6 16 18 34/81 13/31 22/30 14 34 198 +20