SAN ANTONIO -- Tony Parker knows a 26-point first-half lead is no sure thing -- even against the team with the worst record in the NBA.
Parker scored 22 points, and Tim Duncan had 20 points and 12 rebounds to help San Antonio win its sixth straight game, 109-104 over Oklahoma City on Sunday night.
The Spurs led by 26 points in the first half before the Thunder cut it to two points in the final minute.
"You never want to be in that situation," Parker said, "because it's always dangerous. At the end it was kind of ugly, but we got the win and that's the most important thing."
At 15-8, the Spurs have a half-game lead over the Hornets in the Southwest Division. The teams play for the first time this season Wednesday night in New Orleans.
Matt Bonner added 17 points, and Roger Mason had 14 for the Spurs. They combined to make five 3-pointers in the first quarter when the Spurs took a 21-point lead that they pushed to 26 in the second quarter.
Jeff Green led the Thunder, 2-23 after their seventh straight loss, with 33 points, and Kevin Durant had 28. The pair of second-year players combined to go 26-of-47 from the floor and scored 61 of the Thunder starters' 70 points.
"They made shots," Parker said. "It was tough on the isolations with Green and Durant."
The Thunder began their comeback late in the second quarter. They cut the Spurs' lead to three points at 100-97 with 2:02 left on Durant's spinning layup. Durant made it 106-104 with another spinning layup with 30 seconds to go.
"It's always the worst gift a team can get," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of the 26-point cushion. "This is the NBA, and there is a 24-second clock. Rarely, rarely does it stay like that -- it doesn't matter what a team's record is or who you're playing."
Ginobili had 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting and added six assists.
"I can't believe he took a chance to run straight up the floor," Duncan said. "I saw him a little late and just lofted it out there. It was a heads-up play by him."
Green missed a 3-pointer and the Spurs dribbled out the clock.
The Spurs hit seven 3-pointers in the first quarter, falling one short of a team record. They almost had it when Ginobili had his toes on the 3-point line with a shot that beat the buzzer to end the period. That gave San Antonio a 39-19 lead, matching a season high for points in a quarter.
"What hurt us is that we didn't play with a sense of urgency in the first half," Durant said. "You can't let yourself get down. It's a long game."
San Antonio led by 26 when Parker hit a 19-footer for a 58-32 lead with 4:04 left in the first half. But the Thunder closed the half with a 12-4 run to cut it to 18 at halftime.
"The Spurs are just too good to a team to hand a huge lead like that to," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "After that we came together and made some key stops and shared the basketball."
Though Durant and Green hogged the starters' scoring load, the Thunder got key points from the bench. Nick Collison, Desmond Mason and Earl Watson combined to shoot 12-of-19 for 27 points. They added 10 assists.
Durant blocked four shots. ... Thunder F Chris Wilcox missed his second full game because of a dislocated left ring finger. He's expected to miss at least 10 more days. ... Thunder G Earl Watson was called for a technical foul in the first quarter when he tried to slap a dead ball away from the grip of George Hill -- right after the Spurs rookie was called for an offensive foul for lowering his shoulder into Watson.
- Scott Foster
- Kevin Fehr
- Phil Robinson