SAN ANTONIO — Jeff Green dunked over Tim Duncan, stopped and stared. That’s not necessarily a wise tactic when you’re down 20 points. On the road. In Duncan’s house.
When Green duplicated the feat minutes later, it’s proof Green’s confidence is soaring. San Antonio led by as many as 26 points Sunday night at the AT&T Center, but 17,419 fans had to sweat out a 109-104 win over Green and the Thunder. Oklahoma City has a league-worst 2-23 record, but it’s games like Green’s season-high 33 points that are signs better days should be ahead for a young team in a couple of years. "It’s one thing to get points in this league, but when you do it by taking good shots and making it tough on defenses, that’s what you look for,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "That’s basketball. Attack not only for yourself but your teammates. That’s what the good players do, the special players. "Jeff is developing into a playmaker.” The Thunder cut the deficit to 106-104 with 30 seconds left on a Kevin Durant basket, but Manu Ginobili’s breakaway and-one, 3-point play stifled OKC’s comeback. Despite another close loss, Green’s best game of the season, combined with a 25-point outing in a shootout loss Saturday night in Dallas, is an indication Green and Durant could form a strong 1-2 combo for years to come. "I’m trying to take what defenses are giving me,” Green said. "My confidence in my shot has been pretty good lately. Coach Brooks has been putting me in positions to use my versatility.” Green’s improvement actually started late last season and during the summer.