SAN ANTONIO -- Coming off a historic loss and on the verge of surrendering their lead atop the standings to their conference rivals across the Red River, the San Antonio Spurs did what they expected to do. They stepped up their defense and won the game.
Tiago Splitter had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Spurs to a 105-93 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night at the AT&T Center.
Splitter went 9-for-11 from the field and 3-for-5 from the free-throw line in the highly anticipated matchup between the teams with the best records in the Western Conference.
"You want to play well against these kind of teams, these playoff teams," said Splitter, a second-year forward from Brazil. "Of course, you feel good when you do. But you have to stay humble. It's one more game."
The Spurs (49-15) had five other players score in double figures. Kawhi Leonard had 17 points, Danny Green 16, Tim Duncan 13, Manu Ginobili 12 and Boris Diaw 11.
San Antonio continued to roll with All-Star point guard Tony Parker sidelined due to a Grade 2 sprain of his left ankle. Without Parker, the Spurs have gone 4-1, but they endured a 136-106 thrashing by the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. It was the worst loss in the 15-year Duncan era.
Kevin Durant, the NBA's scoring leader at 28.4 points per game, scored 26 points on 13 shot attempts for the Thunder (47-17). Russell Westbrook, who was 11 of 27 from the field, added 25 points, and Serge Ibaka had 13 points and 16 rebounds.
The Spurs appeared headed for a landslide loss when they trailed by 13 points in the first quarter. But they bounced back and ended the second quarter on a 26-8 run, finishing with two Ginobili free throws with five seconds left, putting San Antonio in front 57-50 at halftime.
San Antonio hit 4 of 5 three-pointers and shot 68 percent from the field in the second quarter to get back in the game.
Leonard led the Spurs' first-half scoring, collecting nine of his 11 first-half points in the final four minutes.