Williams lifts Thunder past Spurs and into West's 10th seed
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Jalen Williams scored 21 points and Oklahoma City used a balanced effort on offense without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to beat the San Antonio Spurs 102-90 on Sunday night as they compete for a berth in the Western Conference play-in tournament.
Ousmane Dieng had 17 points and Josh Giddey added 17 for the Thunder, who won their second in a row and fifth in six games. Oklahoma City tied Utah for 10th place in the West at 33-35, but the Thunder hold the tiebreaker after winning the season series 2-1.
Coming off a 110-96 victory in New Orleans on Saturday, Oklahoma City rested Gilgeous-Alexander for injury management. Gilgeous-Alexander, an All-Star who has missed 11 games this season, recently returned from an abdominal strain.
San Antonio's Zach Collins had 23 points and 11 rebounds for his ninth career double-double. Devonte’ Graham added 20 points.
The Spurs, who shot 10 for 35 on 3-pointers, were without Keldon Johnson, Jeremy Sochan and Tre Jones, and lost Malaki Branham to injury midway through the second quarter.
Losing four of their top ball-handlers resulted in the Spurs committing 18 turnovers.
The Thunder went on a 14-0 run bridging the first and second quarters after Sandro Mamukelashvili cut their lead to 22-19 with a cutting layup. Dieng had six points in the run that spanned just over four minutes.
The Spurs are closing out their worst season since finishing 20-62 in 1997, the season before they selected Tim Duncan with the No. 1 pick.
Thunder: Oklahoma City snapped a two-game skid in San Antonio. The Thunder's last victory at the AT&T Center was March 4, 2021.
Spurs: Coach Gregg Popovich was assessed a technical foul with 4:18 remaining. Popovich was screaming at the officials after no foul was called when Collins was smacked across the head on an attempted short jumper. ... Branham left with a sore right shoulder 7:16 remaining in the first half. ... Jones missed the game with a non-COVID illness. ... Collins has 41 3-pointers this season, besting his previous career high of 40 set in 2019 with Portland. Collins was 40 for 121 in 77 games during his second season in the NBA with the Trail Blazers. He is 41 for 111 in 55 games with the Spurs this season.
Thunder: Host Brooklyn on Tuesday.
Spurs: Host Orlando on Tuesday.
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Raul Dominguez, The Associated Press