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Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots over Chicago Bulls forwards Tony Snell (20) and Carlos Boozer (5) during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game
Spurs pip Warriors despite no star trio Thunder roll past Bulls to remain unbeaten at home

OAKLAND, California, Dec 20, (Agencies): With or without its star trio, the San Antonio Spurs still play with a championship pedigree. Tiago Splitter tipped in a rebound with 2.1 seconds left, lifting the short-handed Spurs to a 104-102 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night. San Antonio (21-5) rested Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker sat out for the second straight game with a bruised right shin. None of it mattered. The Spurs used big nights from Marco Belinelli, Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills to hand the Warriors (14-13) another devastating defeat in a rematch of last season’s Western Conference semifinals. The Warriors led by 14 points in the second quarter, fell behind by nine in the third but were still in position to win against San Antonio’s second-stringers in the closing moments.

Stephen Curry hit a tying 3-pointer to cap Golden State’s comeback. But after two misses by team-mates, Splitter was wide open under the rim to tap in the winning score. Belinelli scored a career-high 28 points against his former team, Leonard had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Mills added 20 points in one of San Antonio’s most impressive wins this season. It also was a season high in points for Leonard and Mills. David Lee had 32 points and 13 rebounds in Golden State’s sloppy performance. Curry scored 30 points and tied his career high with 15 assists, and Andrew Bogut collected 18 rebounds.

Thunder 107, Bulls 95
In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City had an answer for every challenge from the Chicago Bulls. It was just business as usual for the Thunder at home. Durant scored 32 points and the Thunder beat the Bulls 107-95 on Thursday night for their eighth straight win. Oklahoma City led by 15 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, but the Bulls pulled within seven on D.J. Augustin’s 3-pointer with 8:50 to go. Oklahoma City then outscored Chicago 16-4 over a late 5-1/2-minute stretch to pull away. Russell Westbrook had 20 points and 10 assists, and reserve Reggie Jackson added 18 to help the Thunder improve to 13-0 at Chesapeake Arena. Oklahoma City is the only NBA team with a perfect home record.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant has a broken bone in his left knee and is expected to miss six weeks, the NBA team said Thursday. “You hate it for Kobe,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said in remarks posted on the team’s Twitter feed. “He’s worked so hard to get back.” Bryant missed the first 19 games of the season as he continued to recover from surgery to repair a torn left Achilles tendon suffered in April. He had played just six games and averaged 13.8 points. Bryant was injured Tuesday in the third quarter of a 96-92 win over Memphis. He walked carefully to the bench but returned later to the contest and finished with 21 points. Bryant said immediately after the game that he was pleased with his performance in his fourth game in five days, and downplayed any injury he may have suffered when he fell with Memphis’s Tony Allen guarding him. “I tend to hyperextend my knees every now and then,” Bryant said after the game. “This was one of those situations.”

NBA Results/Standings

WASHINGTON, Dec 20, (RTRS): Results and standings from the NBA games on Thursday.
Oklahoma City    107    Chicago    95
San Antonio    104    Golden State    102

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
    W    L    PCT    GB
Boston    12    15    .444    -
Toronto    9    14    .391    1
Brooklyn    9    16    .360    2
NY Knicks    8    17    .320    3
Philadelphia    7    19    .269    4-1/2
Central Division
    W    L    PCT    GB
Indiana    20    5    .800    -
Detroit    13    14    .481    8
Cleveland    9    15    .375    10-1/2
Chicago    9    16    .360    11
Milwaukee    5    20    .200    15
Southeast Division
    W    L    PCT    GB
Miami    19    6    .760    -
Atlanta    14    12    .538    5-1/2
Charlotte    12    14    .462    7-1/2
Washington    11    13    .458    7-1/2
Orlando    8    18    .308    11-1/2
Western Conference
Northwest Division
    W    L    PCT    GB
Oklahoma City    21    4    .840    -
Portland    22    5    .815    -
Denver    14    10    .583    6-1/2
Minnesota    13    13    .500    8-1/2
Utah    7    21    .250    15-1/2
Pacific Division
    W    L    PCT    GB
LA Clippers    18    9    .667    -
Phoenix    14    10    .583    2-1/2
Golden State    14    13    .519    4
LA Lakers    12    13    .480    5
Sacramento    7    17    .292    9-1/2
Southwest Division
    W    L    PCT    GB
San Antonio    21    5    .808    -
Houston    17    9    .654    4
Dallas    15    10    .600    5-1/2
New Orleans    11    13    .458    9
Memphis    10    15    .400    10-1/2

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