Russell Westbrook says theres no question Oklahoma City is the leagues best team.

SAN ANTONIO — Russell Westbrook says theres no question Oklahoma City is the leagues best team. cheap jerseys from china . He backed up his words Saturday night by leading the Thunder to a dominant victory in a place few visiting teams have had success. Westbrook had 31 points and eight assists and Oklahoma City used a strong second quarter to beat the San Antonio Spurs 113-100 for its ninth straight victory. “We got the best record in the league; I believe were the best team in the league regardless of who says this and who says that,” Westbrook said. “You have to go out and play. You can predict anything, but you have to play the game.” The Thunder outscored the Spurs 40-29 in the second quarter to hand San Antonio only its second home loss this season. “It was one of our best scoring quarters,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “Not sure we have even had a 40-point quarter this season, but we moved the ball well and made shots. Both teams are hard to guard and both teams can score points. We got hot there in the second.” Tony Parker had 23 points and eight assists in his return from a two-game absence due to a bruised shin, but Kawhi Leonard was a late scratch following a dental procedure. Even though they were without their best defender on the wing, San Antonio said Leonards absence had little to do with the loss. “Well, Im sure wed like to have Kawhi, but that happens to every NBA team at some point in the season,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “You dont lose just because of that. We would have loved to have had him, but they played better than we did tonight for more of the game.” Kevin Durant, whom Leonard would have defended, only had 17 points while going 6 for 14 from the field. Instead, it was Westbrook and reserve guard Reggie Jackson who proved difficult to stop. Jackson had 21 points, four assists and only one turnover in 30 minutes. “This is the second game hes been playing good against us,” Parker said. “We have to find a solution for him. Westbrook and Durant they are going to score and take a lot of shots, but we cant let Jackson score that much. Thats two games in a row that I felt hes the one that hurt us the most.” Westbrook and Jackson were a combined 21 for 36 and handed out 12 assists. Playing their seventh game in 10 days, the Spurs looked lethargic after a strong start. The Thunder never trailed after Jacksons reverse layup put them up 21-19 with a minute remaining in the first quarter. Jackson had 10 points in the quarter. “Once we move the ball the way we did tonight, everybody touches it, were a pretty good team,” Durant said. “Once (the ball) gets sticky and try to play one-on-one, thats when we kind of struggle. Russell is doing a great job of getting everybody involved and picking and choosing his spots; when to score.” The Spurs had won six of seven entering Saturdays game, but couldnt recover from the second-quarter pasting. “They made a lot of shots, you have to give them credit,” Parker said. “I thought overall we played well, but they just played better.” The Spurs committed five turnovers while taking only 17 shots in the period, which was one less than the Thunder made. San Antonio was 20 for 49 in the paint, continually missing layups. “That was tough,” Parker said. “We couldnt get a lead. We were playing well, we made some stops, but we missed a lot of layups, thats basketball.” The Spurs pulled within a pair of baskets on several occasions in the second half, but the Thunder responded with a small run each time. Jackson was usually at the forefront of the runs, going 8 for 14. “I just told the guys to keep inspiring each other on the defensive end,” Brooks said. “I told them to help their teammates out when they needed help and I felt they did that extremely well tonight. We have improved in that area for the past few years, but tonight was really good.” NOTES: Parker (shin bruise) was questionable, but started and played 33 minutes. He had eight assists while shooting 6 for 14. … Entering Saturdays game, the Thunder were averaging 109.9 points during their eight-game winning streak and shooting 50.2 per cent. … Popovich was whistled for a technical foul after complaining to official Monty McCutchen about a non-call on Tiago Splitters dunk attempt against Ibaka. wholesale jerseys . The 7-footer spent last season with New Orleans, averaging 9.7 points and a career-high 5. cheap jerseys .Y. – Ray Rice and wife Janay testified Thursday on the final day of a hearing in the former Baltimore Ravens running backs appeal of his indefinite NFL suspension.TORONTO – It may have just been the last gasps of a wounded hockey club on life support, but it kept the Maple Leafs faint playoff hopes alive – barely – for another day. They hung on to win (and picked up points) for the first time in more than two weeks Tuesday night, halting a drudging eight-game losing streak with a narrow 3-2 win over Calgary at a quiet ACC. “Well, it beats losing thats for sure,” Cody Franson said of the Torontos first win since Mar. 13. Masterpiece it was not. Standing nervously even with the rebuilding Flames after 40 minutes, the Leafs pulled ahead on third period goals from Dave Bolland and David Clarkson – the first for the 30-year-old Clarkson in nearly two months – before hanging on in the dying seconds of regulation. “I dont want to get too far ahead of ourselves because we didnt paint a Mona Lisa here tonight,” said a relieved, but still cautious Randy Carlyle afterward. “Its been a long time. Its been too long. Its a much better feeling than what weve been able to enjoy here over the last while, thats for sure.” Close and unpleasing as it may have been, it was a win no less for a club thats found all too many ways to lose amid a collapse thats all but shattered their once certain playoff entry. After their last win in mid-March – a resilient 3-2 victory in Los Angeles – the Leafs stood three points up on the Canadiens and Lightning, six ahead of the Blue Jackets and a seemingly insurmountable nine up on the physically beaten Red Wings. More than two weeks without a point destroyed that cushion and then some. Montreal and Tampa stormed far ahead for control of second and third in the Atlantic division – 93 points apiece – Toronto (82 points) trailing Columbus by a point (83) and Detroit by two (84) for the final two wild card positions in the East – both have two games in hand and more regulation/overtime wins. All of which makes their playoff hopes with five games to go razor-thin at best with an especially daunting Thursday night clash with Boston ahead – the Bruins have raced to the top of the NHL with 15 wins in the past 16 games (15-0-1). Asked before Tuesday morning if he believed his team still had a realistic opportunity to land a second straight playoff berth, Carlyle responded with whatever hope he could muster. “Its realistic if you win,” he said. “Weve got to win the first one. Thats the bottom line. “We cant change whats happened. We dont like whats happened. Were not comfortable with whats happened but move on. Thats what our focus is.” Carlyle said hed enjoy that first win for five, maybe 10 minutes. He knows one does little to alter the fortunes of a team clinging to the ropes and all five might not even be enough. Hope is still just hanging on for life. Five Points 1. Rare Bright Spot David Clarkson hasnt had much to celebrate in a lost first season with the Leafs, but he found a little light with a breakaway goal in the third period on Tuesday night. The goal, his fifth of the season, snapped a 16-game pointless drought and was his first since Feb. 4. “Its no secret, its been tough,” he said of a season in which hes mustered just 11 points, looking lost more often than not. “Personally, Im not happy with the season. [But] I hold myself accountable. Im someone thats got to be better.” “Numbers arent always everything,” said Franson in defence of Clarkson afterward. “Clarkies been a guy thats gone out and worked hard every night for us. Hes tried to be very physical and create a lot on our cycles. You cant judge a guy just by numbers. I think hes brought a lot more to the table than people give him credit for.” 2. Kessels Pain The stick came down on the bench, shattering into pieces at tthe frustrated one-hand chop of Phil Kessel. nfl jerseys china. The 26-year-old had just taken another puck to the bruised right foot hes been bothered with since Saturday, storming off the ice in obvious pain and disgust. “He had the sign on his foot obviously,” Carlyle said with some humour. Kessel did not practice Monday and remained off the ice ahead of the tilt with Calgary on Tuesday morning. Still searching for the first 40-goal campaign of his career, he remains stuck on 36 goals and 77 points, totaling 17 minutes and 36 seconds against the Flames – his lowest total since a Jan. 23 beatdown in Dallas. The Leafs improved to just 7-22-2 when he does not a record a point. 3. Bernier Post-Olympic Four goals had passed Jonathan Bernier in each of his previous three starts after returning from a nagging groin injury, but on Tuesday, just two of a tame 24 shots slipped by in victory. “It was nice, actually,” he said of the comparatively quiet night. Stellar from October to February, Bernier actually had his worst month of the season following the Olympic break in March, compiling a .907 percentage in eight starts. It was a rare dip from a goaltender whos been ultra-consistent; Bernier posted a save percentage of at least .923 in four of the previous five months. He improved to 6-8-2 when stopping between 20-29 shots this season. 4. Distractions In hopes of distracting the mind from a playoff chance-sapping skid, Jake Gardiner opted to see a movie Monday, taking in the new Russell Crowe flick, Noah. “Its tough,” he said of getting away from a losing streak that finally ended Tuesday. “You look on Twitter or TV, its pretty much what everyones talking about right now. But were kind of used to that. Weve had some ups and downs throughout the season and throughout the past, youve just got to take it in stride.” 5. Distractions II Almost at the end of his rookie season in the NHL, Morgan Rielly has learned at least one tool to insulate himself from the often high-pitched noise of Toronto. “I dont check Twitter as often,” Rielly said. “Its hard though because when youre out eating at Earls or something, its on TV and theres people talking about our skid, trade rumours or how weve been playing. But honestly, you cant really worry about it too much as you all know. Its just a matter of keeping concentrated on just playing the game and not what everybodys saying.” Avoiding Twitter was a lesson the 20-year-old picked up in training camp, “when youre not sure if youre going to make the team or not and theres tweets about you not making the team or theres tweets about you on the team,” he said. “You cant be too concerned about whats going on out there. Youve just got to worry about what youre able to control and all that is is playing hockey.” Stats Pack 2-9-0 – Leafs record in the past 11 games. 17:36 – Ice-time for Phil Kessel on Tuesday, his lowest since Jan. 23. 16 – Consecutive games without a point for David Clarkson, a drought snapped Tuesday with his fifth goal of the season. 7-22-2 – Leafs record this season when Phil Kessel does not record a point. .907 – Save percentage for Jonathan Bernier in March. 17 – Games without a goal for Jay McClement, who snapped that drought Tuesday with his fourth of the season. 15:10 – Minutes for Paul Ranger, who returned to the lineup as the seventh defender against Calgary. Special Teams Capsule PP: 0-1Season: 20.3% (7th) PK: 2-2Season: 78.6% (28th) Quote of the Night “I dont want to get too far ahead of ourselves because we didnt paint a Mona Lisa here tonight.” – Randy Carlyle, following a 3-2 win over the Flames. Up Next The Leafs host the Bruins at the ACC on Thursday night. cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys cheap jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys ‘ ‘ ‘

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