The San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder treated fans to one of the best games of the NBA regular season on Thursday night. The Spurs eventually beat he Thunder in the double overtime thriller by a score of 154-147, thanks in large part to a career-high, 56-point performance from veteran big man LaMarcus Aldridge.
Aldridge accomplished his monster game by shooting 20-for-33 from the field with an even more impressive 16-for-16 display from the charity stripe. The six-time All Star also had nine rebounds and four assists to go along with his 56 points, the third highest total in Spurs history. With his most recent performance, Aldridge becomes the ninth player to join the 50-point club this season alongside superstars like LeBron James, James Harden, and Stephen Curry.
"He’s been a beast all year long," San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich told the Associated Press after the game. "He anchors us at both ends of the floor. He did it last year, and he’s doing it this year, too. He’s just been fantastic. Obviously, he had a great night."
The power forward was not the only player in beast mode last night. The entire Spurs team seemed to be clicking on all cylinders. They shot an insane 16-for-19 from three point range, hitting a franchise record 14 straight to start the game. That statistic seems even more implausible when you realize that the Popovich-led squad was last in the NBA in three attempts heading into the game. With this win, Pop is now third on the NBA's all-time list of wins as a head coach with 1,222 victories over the course of his legendary career.
The Spurs had their work cut out for them, thanks to the impressive performances on the other side of the ball. For one, Russell Westbrook did what Russell Westbrook does, dropping yet another triple-double. However, this one was extremely impressive. Westbrook, who has been struggling with his shooting stroke all season, ended the game with 24 points, 13 rebounds, and an astounding 24 assists. In fact, every member of the Thunder's starting five dropped double digit points.
By the end of regulation, both teams had combined for a ridiculous 301 points. No two teams had done that since the Suns and Nets did it all the way back in 2006.
If you still need some evidence as to how awesome this game was, just take a look at the end-to-end action during the final seconds of regulation.
Basketball gods, please make these two teams meet in the playoffs. Signed, everyone.