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Leonard scores 27, Spurs rally to top Thunder 100-95

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The San Antonio Spurs are quick learners.

Two days after they blew a 22-point lead in a loss to Golden State, the Spurs overcame a 21-point deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-95 on Friday night.

Oklahoma City led 69-48 with 5:56 left in the third quarter.

"It's a great win," Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. "We needed one like this. We didn't play good for 30 minutes of the game, but we bounced back. We were aggressive, we stayed together and we bounced back."

Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points for the Spurs, who didn't lead until the final minute. LaMarcus Aldridge's dunk with 20.7 seconds left put the Spurs up 96-95. Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook drove to the hoop, but Aldridge blocked his shot. Leonard then drove the length of the floor, scored and was fouled. His free throw with 5.8 seconds left put the game out of reach.

"I was real impressed with the grit of the whole group," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "That's late to be down 21, and they just kept motoring along and trying to be disciplined, and it worked out."

Westbrook had 32 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists for his 39th triple-double of the season. He needs two more to tie Oscar Robertson's single-season record of 41 set during the 1961-62 season. He was disappointed in the result, but said his young teammates will learn from it.

"It happens like that sometimes," Westbrook said. "Sometimes you don't win a game. Stick with it. We'll be all right."

Westbrook was coming off a 57-point performance in an overtime win over Orlando during which he set an NBA record for most points scored in a triple-double. He had 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the first half to help the Thunder take a 54-41 lead. Leonard and Aldridge shot a combined 5 for 18 before the break.

Westbrook got his 10th rebound early in the third quarter, but after that, the Spurs started rolling and cut their deficit to 76-71 at the end of the period. Leonard, who had been bottled up in the first half, got loose for 13 points in the third quarter.

The Thunder led 80-75 when Westbrook re-entered the game in the fourth quarter after a short rest. He clinched the triple-double on a floater by Steven Adams with 6:15 remaining, but San Antonio continued to inch closer after that.

Westbrook made just three of 12 shots in the second half and shot 2 of 7 in the fourth quarter.

"We just tried to slow Russell down a little bit and make him give up the ball," Leonard said. "He was going to the line and getting his teammates wide-open shots very easily in the first half. That's basically it. We've got to try to do what we can to slow him down. He played a great game."

Westbrook felt the pressure.

"They was bringing the whole team," he said. "That's what they do. I've just got to try to make the right play."


Spurs: Were outrebounded 26-15 in the first half. ... Held the Thunder to 5-of-20 shooting in the third quarter. ... The Spurs committed just 14 turnovers.

Thunder: It was the 76th triple-double of Westbrook's career. ... It was Westbrook's fifth consecutive triple-double. ... F Taj Gibson sat out with an illness. He started the previous 10 games, and the Thunder had gone 8-2.


The Thunder outrebounded the Spurs 39-29 in the first three quarters, but the Spurs outrebounded the Thunder 12-7 in the fourth.


Popovich: "It's the NBA. It's 48 minutes and all kinds of things happen. People stop making shots, you start making some, maybe there's some turnovers, whatever, and you get back in the game."


Spurs: host the Utah Jazz on Sunday.

Thunder: host the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.


Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP