Duncan takes overTim Duncan averaged 20 points and 12.7 rebounds in four games against the Thunder this season, but he turned in his best performance Tuesday night (25 points, 15 rebounds). Oklahoma City led much of the first three quarters before Duncan scored three baskets early in the fourth period to give the Spurs an 87-78 lead.
"He played a lot better this time,” said Thunder forward Jeff Green. "He came off a bad game against Cleveland, so we knew he would come in here and try to get something going early. He did that. He hurt us. Once he gets around the basket, it’s tough to guard him.”
Mathematically eliminated?One more Oklahoma City win or one more Sacramento loss and the Thunder will be mathematically eliminated from having the most pingpong balls in the May 19 Draft Lottery. In the reverse standings, OKC has clinched a tie. The Kings have 61 losses. That’s the most losses OKC, 21-56, can finish with even if it loses its final five games. The Thunder owns the league’s fourth-worst record. The team with the worst record receives 250 of the 1,000 pingpong balls in the Draft Lottery. The second-worst team gets 199 pingpong balls, third-worst 156, fourth-worst 119 and fifth-worst 88.
Three fans win carsOne lucky fan was supposed to win a $32,500, clean-burning 2009 Honda Civic GX. Between the third and fourth quarters, all three contestants were brought to midcourt to open giant boxes. Turns out Chesapeake Energy gave all three — Gano Perez (Oklahoma City), Melissa Parks (Wynona) and Ken Dillon (Del City) — a new car, a home fueling station and installation of the fueling station.
Mason updateDesmond Mason, sidelined by a knee injury, said if the Thunder was in the playoff chase he probably would be close to returning because he would have pushed a little harder the past couple of weeks. "I’m well ahead of schedule, but we don’t need to rush anything,” Mason said.