The Spurs have made it clear all year long that they're capable of competing without their best players carrying the load, but it's still a little bit scary to see them face off against the second-best team in the Western Conference and come away with a comfortable win. Tiago Splitter had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs, followed on the scoresheet by Kawhi Leonard with 17, Danny Green with 16 on four threes ... and then Tim Duncan, who had 13 points on 14 shots in a potential Western Conference Finals preview.
Although Oklahoma City (47-17) would jump out to a 24-14 lead, San Antonio (49-15) would come storming back with a 35-18 advantage in the second quarter thanks to hot shooting from Leonard and Green as well as tough defense on the perimeter. It would score the first nine points of the fourth quarter to extend its lead to 18, and from there the win was easy enough.
The Thunder had entered the game with five straight wins, but San Antonio limited their offense. Leonard did a decent job on Kevin Durant -- he was limited to only 13 field goal attempts, although he forced his way to the line, where he went 11-for-11 and finished with 26 points -- but Russell Westbrook was handcuffed, scoring just 25 points on 27 shots. Throw in 17 turnovers -- for all their firepower, the Thunder have the third-highest turnover rate in the league -- and San Antonio walked away with this one.
This wasn't so much Golden State's revenge for a loss when Stephen Curry scored 54 points against the Knicks, as New York just completely fizzled offensively. Curry was hot -- after his 11 threes in the first game between these two, New York once again continued to leave him wide open, as he drilled six from distance to finish with 26 points -- but New York (38-23) shot a brutal 27.4 percent from the field, including 5-of-27 from three. It trailed by double-digits in the second quarter, a deficit which grew and grew, bottoming out in the fourth quarter as the team managed just nine points.
It was not a good return to play for Carmelo Anthony. After missing three games with a knee issue, he had 14 points on 15 attempts -- although considering how the rest of his team played, maybe that wasn't so bad. The high scorer for New York was Chris Copeland with 15, although he wouldn't make his entrance until the game was already more or less out of reach. Klay Thompson added 23 points for the Warriors (36-29) after hitting his first three threes, while David Lee had 21 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists after missing the first matchup against his old team.
The lottery-bound Sixers snapped a five-game losing streak with a career-esque night from Spencer Hawes, who threw in a season-high 24 points with 10 boards and seven assists. Add 11 rebounds from Jrue Holiday and an efficient 15 points from Dorell Wright off the bench, and the Nets (37-27) weren't in position to win this one. Deron Williams tried, with 27 points and 13 assists, but Philadelphia (24-39) shot too well -- 52.6 percent from the field, 8-of-15 for three -- and only turned the ball over six times, not enough for a lackluster performance from Brooklyn to keep pace.
A matchup against Detroit is just what the Jazz needed: four straight losses had dropped them behind the Lakers for the eighth seed in the West, but a win Monday night has them tied again with 18 games to go. The Pistons (23-43) only managed more than 20 points in one of four quarters and were outrebounded 47-30 by Utah (33-31). Mo Williams' 20 points led all scorers, his first double-digit outing since returning from a thumb injury, while Al Jefferson added 16 points and 10 boards.
Denver has won nine in a row after an easy win over Phoenix, with Kosta Koufos chipping in a career-high 22 points on just 11 shots, hitting 10 against lackluster interior defense by the Suns. Phoenix (22-42) actually kept it pretty close -- it was down just two in the fourth quarter -- but Denver (43-22) pulled away with a 28-19 scoring advantage in the fourth. With Andre Iguodala and Danilo Gallinari both held to single-digit scoring, Corey Brewer had 20 points and Ty Lawson added 19. The silver lining for Phoenix, is, well, a career-high night from Hamed Haddadi, who added 13 points.