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Oklahoma City Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives against San Antonio Spurs’ Bryn Forbes during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
Published 11/08/2019 | 2 min 16 sec
By Raul Dominguez, with the Associated Press
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Dejounte Murray had been making himself miserable in the film room. Watching turnover after turnover, he promised Spurs teammate LaMarcus Aldridge things were going to change against Oklahoma City on Thursday night.
Aldridge was the benefactor of Murray’s improved play at point guard, scoring a season-high 39 points to help San Antonio roll over the Thunder 121-112.
“I tell him every day, you’re too great of a player to just go missing in action,” Murray said. “It’s on me being a point guard and the rest of the team. We’ve got to make sure a guy like that is well-involved early from the jump.”
Murray had with a career-high 10 assists along with 17 points and eight rebounds. The 22-year-old played 26 minutes as San Antonio continues to restrict his play after he missed last season following right knee surgery.
Murray, who was averaging 3.0 turnovers per game, had seven turnovers in back-to-back losses entering Thursday’s game.
“I’ve got to stop being sloppy,” Murray said.
The Spurs had a season-high 32 assists in snapping their two-game skid. DeMar DeRozan added 16 points and nine assists for the Spurs.
Danilo Gallinari scored 27 points and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 21 for the Thunder, who entered the game on a two-game winning streak.
“We were hanging around there, we just couldn’t get enough stops,” Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan said.
Aldridge finished 19 for 23 from the field and made 10 straight bridging the first and second half.
“LaMarcus was a beast, his rhythm was really good,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “He shot quickly, he made quick decisions and he also passed it out of there when he got doubled or there was a crowd. He did a great job of finding other people. He played a really smart game offensively.”
Aldridge had a combined 22 points and shot 8 for 23 during the Spurs’ two-game skid but made a 21-foot jumper against the Thunder to open the game.
“I definitely put the work in,” Aldridge said. “Just waiting for my shot to come back. The first one felt good, after that, I just tried to stay with it.”
Chris Paul had 19 points and five assists in 31 minutes.
Thunder: Oklahoma City’s last win in San Antonio was Dec. 25, 2014. Russell Westbrook had 34 points and 11 assists in the 114-106 victory. … Mike Muscala played one minute. Muscala has played just 22 minutes in five games after signing with the Thunder in the offseason.
Spurs: Derrick White rode a stationary bike when he wasn’t in the game to keep his back loose. White injured his back after falling to the court Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers following a foul by Dwight Howard on a layup attempt. … San Antonio set a season-high with 33 points in the opening quarter.
BIG THREE TO BIG BRO
Spurs assistant coach Tim Duncan is mentoring Murray just as he once did for another Spurs point guard, Tony Parker.
“That’s a big bro for me for sure,” Murray said. “As far as right now, he’s coach, coach Tim. Man, the knowledge he has, just everything around. He’s always there trying to help me in everything, whether it’s in the gym or (watching) film. Having a great dude like that around really helps.”
Thunder: Host Golden State on Saturday night.
Spurs: Host Boston on Saturday night.