Aldridge scores 56 in Spurs’ dou­ble OT thriller

San An­to­nio beat Ok­la­homa City 154-147 in dou­ble over­time

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LaMar­cus Aldridge tal­lied a ca­reer­high 56 points as the San An­to­nio Spurs over­came Rus­sell West­brook’s triple dou­ble by out­gun­ning the Ok­la­homa City Thun­der 154-147 in a dou­ble over­time thriller on Thurs­day.

Aldridge’s epic performance saw him sur­pass his pre­vi­ous ca­reer high of 45 points which he set against Utah last March.

He rat­tled off seven points in the second over­time as the Spurs out­lasted the Thun­der one day after hav­ing one of their worst shoot­ing per­for­mances of the sea­son in a 96-86 loss to Mem­phis.

“I was try­ing to be dom­i­nant,” Aldridge said. “I got go­ing early in third and it felt good. I was try­ing to get to the rim.

“We had to stay calm and get it done down the stretch, and we did.”

West­brook also de­liv­ered a mon­ster game for the Thun­der, fin­ish­ing with 24 points, 24 re­bounds and 13 as­sists.

The Spurs have won six of seven and 14 of 18 to close within a game of the Thun­der for third place in the West­ern Con­fer­ence.

This was their first meet­ing of the sea­son and Ok­la­homa City will get a chance for re­venge on Satur­day when they host the Spurs.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich recorded his 1,222 win, sur­pass­ing Jerry Sloan to move to third place on the all-time list.

Paul Ge­orge fin­ished with 30 points and Jerami Grant had 25 points and 12 re­bounds for the Thun­der, who lost their sev­enth con­sec­u­tive game in San An­to­nio.

DeMar DeRozan scored 16 points and 11 as­sists but shot just seven of 22 from the floor and missed po­ten­tial game-de­cid­ing shots at the end of reg­u­la­tion and the end of the first over­time.

San An­to­nio made its first 14 three-point­ers to set a fran­chise record. After their ini­tial suc­cess from be­yond the arc, the Spurs switched gears and got the ball down low to Aldridge with the game on the line.

“We try to play in­side out and it worked tonight,” Aldridge said.

Else­where, Dwyane Wade came off the bench to score 19 points and Jus­tise Winslow had 13 points and a ca­reer-high 11 as­sists as the Mi­ami Heat ham­mered the Bos­ton Celtics 115-99.

The Heat, who led by as many as 26 points, used a bal­anced at­tack to beat the Celtics as a half dozen play­ers scored in dou­ble fig­ures in front of a crowd of 19,600 — their 400th straight sell­out at Mi­ami’s Amer­i­can Air­lines Arena.

BENCH DUTY

Mi­nus a bona fide su­per­star, the Heat are

get­ting con­sis­tent per­for­mances from a cast of hard­work­ing young­sters and crafty vet­er­ans like Wade, who has been de­moted to bench duty in his fi­nal NBA sea­son.

“We had a com­fort­able lead, but you know they are go­ing to make a run,” the 36-year-old Wade said. “I got a cou­ple of shots to fall.”

Wade turned back the clock against the Celtics on Thurs­day, shoot­ing eight-of-12 from the floor and three-of-five from the be­yond the arc. The Heat drained a sea­son­high 18 threes.

“We are start­ing to fig­ure out how to win against good teams on our home floor,” Wade said.

Josh Richard­son tal­lied 18 points and Der­rick Jones scored 14 for the Heat, who ended a two-game skid and im­proved to 20-20 on the sea­son.

Point guard Kyrie Irv­ing scored a teamhigh 22 points and Mar­cus Smart had 18 for the Celtics, who had their four-game win streak snapped.

Heat guard Dion Waiters, who re­turned ear­lier this month from an­kle surgery which caused him to miss 32 games, fin­ished with eight points.

In Den­ver, Nikola Jo­kic fin­ished with 18 points, 14 re­bounds and 10 as­sists for his 21st ca­reer triple-dou­ble to help the West­ern Con­fer­ence-lead­ing Den­ver Nuggets stretch their home win­ning streak to 11 by rout­ing the Los Angeles Clip­pers 121-100.

Ja­mal Murray scored 23 points and Ma­son Plum­lee added a sea­son-high 17 points to go with 12 re­bounds for the Nuggets. They’re now 17-3 at home.

Lou Wil­liams led the Clip­pers with 19 points, and Danilo Gal­li­nari tal­lied 18 against his for­mer team.

(USA TODAY Sports)

San An­to­nio Spurs’ LaMar­cus Aldridge (second from right) shoots the ball dur­ing the game against Ok­la­homa City Thun­der on Thurs­day.

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