OKLAHOMA CITY -- Derek Fisher has been in a shooting slump since he arrived in Oklahoma City. In 17 games he was averaging only three points a game.
With San Antonio in town Thursday night, Fisher found the fountain of youth. He came off the bench to score 17 points to help the Thunder hand the Spurs a 100-88 defeat at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The win ties the season series at 2-2 and cuts San Antonio's lead for the top spot in the Western Conference down to half a game with seven games remaining.
After trailing by 20, the Spurs (55-20) fought their way back into the game and had a chance to steal the contest on the road.
They cut the Thunder's lead to three points with 4:41 left in the game. Russell Westbrook responded with a pair of free throws to push lead back to five.
Oklahoma City (56-20) got consecutive defensive stops before Kevin Durant made a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give the Thunder a 94-86 advantage with 3:14 remaining.
After the Spurs' Kawhi Leonard hit a pair of free throws, Serge Ibaka took an assist from Durant for an easy layup. San Antonio then had had two opportunities to answer, but Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter's shots were off the mark. Westbrook put the game away with a jumper from the free throw line and the Spurs never threatened again.
Westbrook led all scorers with 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Durant added 25 points on 10-for-20 shooting, nine rebounds and six assists. Fisher was the only bench player to hit double figures as he shot 5 for 7 from behind the arc.
Leonard and Duncan each scored 24 points to pace the Spurs. Leonard also collected 14 rebounds while Duncan hauled in 11. Gary Neal scored 11 while Tony Parker was held to 2 points.
The Thunder were out and running to start the game. Using their defense to force turnovers and get its transition game going, they had the Spurs on their heels.
But it was the re-emergence of Fisher that kick-started Oklahoma City offensive attack. The long time veteran knocked down his first four 3-pointers of the night as the Thunder went up 41-21.
But as the Spurs always seem to do, they slowly chipped away at the deficit. Led by Leonard, Neal and Duncan, they cut the lead to 52-44 at halftime.
It didn't take long for Oklahoma City to regain its swagger. It went on a 15-4 run to start the third, once again sparked by its defense. Durant and Ibaka each picked up a block on Leonard while Westbrook stole an inbound pass to Parker before knocking down a 3-pointer.
However, the Spurs didn't get rattled. They played at their steady pace and continued to knock down 3-pointers. Neal's jumper as time expired in the third cut Oklahoma City's advantage to 77-71.
NOTES: San Antonio was without the services of Manu Ginobili and Stephen Jackson because of injuries. Despite that, Thursday was only the 29th time this season it has had the starting lineup of Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter, Danny Green and Tony Parker intact. Oklahoma City has played 72 contests with the same starting five. "At this point in the season, to be honest, it was pretty disappointing to have Manu go down this late," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "It changes a lot of what we were doing. We got a little discombobulated with his injury. It kind of threw us back a bit because we were in the tail end of a plan we'd put together." ... The Spurs have one player who has played in every game this season -- Tiago Splitter. The Thunder have three. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Nick Collison. ... Despite being a three-time scoring champion, Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant said he isn't going out of his way to make it four straight. After New York's Carmelo Anthony scored a combined 90 points in his past two games, his scoring average rose to 28.1 points per game. Durant was at 28.3 heading into Thursday. "He can have it," Durant said. "I really wanted my first one. Now it's cool, don't get me wrong, I never want to take stuff for granted, but if it happens, it happens."