LaMarcus Aldridge poured in a career-high 56 points, and that was just one of the eye-popping stat lines in the most exciting game of the NBA season.
Aldridge went off Thursday night to help the San Antonio Spurs outlast the Oklahoma City Thunder, 154-147, in double overtime, the most combined points in a game in 12 years, according to Elias Sports. Aldridge had the second-highest individual performance in the league this season and the first 50-point game by a Spurs player since Tony Parker on Nov. 5, 2008.
“I was just trying to be dominant down there. I got going early in the third. I felt good,” Aldridge said in a TNT interview on the floor, game ball in hand from his first career 50-point outing.
“I had a good rhythm getting to the rim. I was getting and-1s. I was just feeling good out there.”
Aldridge shot 20-of-33 from the field and 16-of-16 on free throws, adding nine rebounds and four blocks in 49 minutes. Derrick White scored a career-high 23 points as San Antonio hit its first 14 shots from 3-point range and finished 16-of-19 from deep.
“He’s been a beast all year long,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Aldridge. “He anchors us at both ends of the floor. He did it last year, and he’s doing it this year, too. He’s just been fantastic. Obviously, he had a great night.”
Added White: “He carried us. It was fun to watch.”
Thunder star Russell Westbrook finished with 24 points, 24 assists and 13 rebounds, setting a career high in assists and matching the most in a triple-double in league history. Paul George led Oklahoma City with 30 points, and Jerami Grant added a career-high 23.
The Spurs went 10-of-10 from 3-point range in the first half to take a 70-63 lead into the break. They extended the advantage to 105-93 after three quarters before the Thunder rallied in the fourth.
After falling behind 110-97, the Thunder used a 17-4 run to tie it at 114 with about six minutes left on a pair of Steven Adams put-backs. Adams, however, left shortly after with an ankle injury and didn’t play the rest of regulation. He returned though to play in both overtime periods.
The teams then traded clutch shots down the stretch in regulation. Aldridge scored eight straight points for San Antonio after Adams left. Terrance Ferguson answered for the Thunder with two 3s to tie it again at 126.
White hit a 3, Westbrook made a layup and Aldridge made a free throw before Grant made a layup to tie it at 130 with 5.6 seconds left. DeMar DeRozan missed a jumper on the Spurs’ final possession.
Aldridge had seven points in the second overtime. White scored four and came up with a huge block on Grant at the rim with the Spurs up 148-144. Aldridge and White went a combined 6-of-6 from the foul line in the final 25 seconds to seal the win.
“For it to go down to the wire with a team that’s hot like that, we have a lot to take away for us, for how we played,” said George.
The surging Spurs have won six of seven and 14 of 18 to climb to sixth place in the tightly packed Western Conference, three games behind the Thunder for third.
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