Murray has triple-double as Spurs roll past Thunder, 118-96
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Dejounte Murray had 23 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs made 15 3-pointers as they rolled past the Oklahoma City Thunder 118-96 on Wednesday night.
It was Murray’s eighth triple-double of the season and 12th of his career.
“DJ is playing incredible right now, and we all just thrive off of him,” San Antonio forward Doug McDermott said. “He does it on both ends of the floor every single night and he likes to get it going in transition, that’s a shooter’s dream.”
McDermott scored 20 points and Devin Vassell had 19 for San Antonio. Jakob Poeltl added 13 points and matched a season high with four blocked shots.
Aaron Wiggins scored 19 points, Lu Dort had 15 and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 13 for Oklahoma City. The Thunder have lost three straight and eight of nine.
Each team entered having won only twice in its previous 10 games.
They combined to score 18 points in the opening six minutes. The Spurs followed that sluggish start with an 8-0 run. They opened a 16-point lead in the second quarter and led by as many as 34 points in the fourth.
The Spurs finished 15 of 40 on 3-pointers and shot 49% from the field. The Thunder were 8 of 31 on 3s and shot 38.8% overall.
“They won the point of attack,” Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault said. “Defensively, they were ahead of us at the point of attack. And offensively, at our point of attack, they were able to kind of stall what normally starts the blender for us.”
San Antonio finished with nine steals, three by Murray, and 13 blocks. Murray is averaging career highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.
“Like I say after every game, (Dejounte’s) playing All-Star basketball,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He would be in consideration if we had a better record. He’s growing by leaps and bounds in every way.”
San Antonio also had a 16-point lead in its previous matchup with Oklahoma City on Nov. 7, but the Thunder outscored the Spurs 34-14 in the third quarter and won 99-94.
Oklahoma City attempted another third-quarter rally, but McDermott hit four 3-pointers in the period to keep San Antonio in front.
The Spurs were 15 for 25 from the field in the third quarter and matched their season average of 106 points with a period left to play.
San Antonio was able to rest its starting five in the fourth quarter.
“I’ll take that,” Murray said. “I love to play, but if I’m on the sidelines and we’re winning, that means us main guys who are out there for the first three quarters handled business for all three quarters, which is that maturity level that we’ve got to get to.”
Thunder: Oklahoma City had won two straight at San Antonio, most recently losing there on Nov. 7, 2019. ... The Thunder only had 10 players available. Guard Vit Krejci sat out with a sprained right ankle, forward Kenrich Williams is in the league’s health and safety protocols and Oklahoma City had four players on assignment with the team’s G League affiliate. ... The Thunder are 10-21 against Western Conference opponents.
Spurs: Murray’s dozen triple-doubles are second in franchise history, trailing Hall of Famer David Robinson’s 14. Alvin Robertson (eight) is third followed by Johnny Moore (six) and Tim Duncan (four). ... Assistant coach Becky Hammon remained in the health and safety protocols and was joined by fellow assistants Mitch Johnson and Darius Songaila. ... San Antonio traded Bryn Forbes to Denver as part of a three-team trade that brought Juancho Hernangomez from Boston and a 2028 second-round pick from the Nuggets. ... Poeltl’s career high for blocks is six, which he’s done six times, most recently against New Orleans on April 24, 2021. ... The Spurs are 15-7 when holding a double-digit lead.
Thunder: At Charlotte on Friday.
Spurs: Host Brooklyn on Friday.
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