Manu-less Spurs defeat Thunder, Duncan reached another milestone

This article is cross-posted at Spurs Basketball.

With coach Gregg Popovich opting to rest Manu Ginobili, and newly acquired forward Stephen Jackson not yet able to join the team, the San Antonio Spurs holdovers responded to the challenge.

Tim Duncan grabbed a season 19 rebounds to help San Antonio defeat Oklahoma City for the second time this season.

Tony Parker scored 25 points, while Tim Duncan added 16 points and a season-high 19 rebounds, as the Spurs beat Oklahoma City 114-105 on Friday night.

San Antonio rolled to a 27-point lead in the first half and was up by 20 late in the third quarter before Oklahoma City rallied within two-points down the stretch.

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Parker reaches milestone as Spurs Topple Thunder

With the Rodeo Road Trip looming, Tony Parker made sure that the San Antonio Spurs will hit the road with full of confidence and hope.

Parker was sensational against the Thunder, but will he be able to help the Spurs solve their road woes? (Photo via Express News)

Playing against one of the NBA’s top teams in the Oklahoma City Thunder, Parker put together his most dazzling game of the season, he scored 42 points and became the all-time franchise assists leader for San Antonio in a 107-96 win over the Thunder on Saturday night.

His nine assists moved him past Avery Johnson in Spurs history. Parker, who spent all his 11 years in the NBA in San Antonio, now has 4,477 career assists.

Kevin Durant had 22 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma City (18-5), which was headed for its first blowout loss of the season before closing a 24-point deficit in the fourth.

James Harden had 19 points off the bench for the Thunder. Russell Westbrook had 18 points and six assists.

The convincing win over the NBA’s winningest team was just the springboard San Antonio needed before spending the next three weeks on the road where the Spurs have hardly been as dominant.

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Video: Durant, Thunder snapped Spurs’ 3 game win streak

For most of the night rookie Kawhi Leonard was assigned to defend one of the NBA's best scorers in Kevin Durant. (Photo via Spurs Nation)

The Oklahoma City Thunder were supposed to be a tired team playing their third game in three nights of a back-to-back-to-back set.

Add the fact that one of their key player off the bench Eric Maynor was lost for the season Saturday night in Houston with a knee injury, the San Antonio Spurs were supposed to be the ones taking advantage.

However, even without one of their major contributors on Sunday night, the Thunder have jumped to a 54-48 halftime lead over San Antonio and pulled away in the second half by outscoring the Spurs in third period 37-21 that extended their lead to 22 points entering the final period.

The Spurs tried to comeback in the fourth quarter but eventually waived the white flag with a little over seven minutes left in the game.

With the game already out of hand, coach Gregg Popovich decided to give rookie Kawhi Leonard a trial by fire by assigning him to defend Oklahoma’s Kevin Durant for most of the night.

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Drew vs. Goodman League rematch set


San Antonio Spurs' Gary Neal drives to the basket against Austin Daye and Jarret Jack in a Summer League game last month. (Photo via USA Today)

After much waiting and anticipation, there will finally be a rematch between the Los Angeles based Drew League and the Goodman League of Washington D.C. (via Andrew Kamenetzky, ESPNLosAngeles)

The game will take place on Oct. 9 in Los Angeles at Cal State Dominguez Hills. The time is tentatively set for 5:30 p.m. PT. Longtime Drew League commissioner Dino Smiley confirmed the news and date to ESPNLosAngeles.com.

The first meeting on Aug. 21 in D.C. saw the Goodman League squad, fueled by 44 points and a pair of clutch free throws from Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, eke out a 135-134 victory, San Antonio  Spurs Gary Neal scored six points in that win.

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Video: Melo League beats Goodman League 149-141 in showdown

As reported by The Washington Times, the Goodman League vs. Melo League held at Morgan State University in Baltimore on Tuesday was a success.

Melo League vs. Goodman League highlights

In a battle that would rival any NBA finals contest, the highlight of the evening was a hard-fought, one-on-one battle between Kevin Durant and LeBron James, each delivering a show-stopping offensive performance while being guarded by the other.

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Spurs’ Neal, Anderson and Leonard to play in various Summer League spectacles

With the NBA lockout still in full effect, more NBA players appears to be interested in participating in some summer league games. After the Goodman League defeated Drew League last weekend in Washington, they were soon being dubbed the best summer league in the US.

San Antonio Spurs' James Anderson is reported to be joining some NBA players at Impact Basketball.

However, many other regions that didn’t get a chance to compete disagreed with that sentiment and wanted their shot against Goodman’s finest. (via hoopsworld.com)

On August 30, one league will have that opportunity. The Melo League is located in Baltimore and has had many NBA players in their gym throughout the course of the summer. They’ve been one of the more competitive pro-am leagues in the nation over the last few years and want to see if their All-Stars can take down the group from D.C.

Entering this game, the Melo League is the likely favorite because they’ll have home court advantage in Baltimore and have a star-studded group that is sure to attract plenty of attention.

The Melo League will be represented by Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Josh Selby, San Antonio Spurs Gary Neal and Donte Greene.

The Goodman League will be represented by Kevin Durant, John Wall, Brandon Jennings, DeMarcus Cousins and Hugh “Baby Shaq” Jones.

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Durant led Goodman to victory over Drew League, Spurs’ Neal scored six points in win

In the most anticipated matchup of the summer during the NBA lockout, the NBA stars who participated in the mid-summer affair did not disappoint.

Kevin Durant led the Goodman League to victory over Oklahoma City teammate James Harden and the Drew League squad in dramatic fashion. Durant’s defense sealed the 135-134 win as he blocked Harden’s shot attempt at the buzzer.

Durant finished with a game-high 44 points and earned MVP honors. Harden and Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks led the Drew squad back from a 16-point deficit in the third quarter.

This game had a heightened profile because more players are participating in pro-am leagues with the lockout that began July 1.

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Gary Neal shines at Summer Pro-Am Tour

As the NBA lockout continues, players are finding ways to stay in basketball shape and at the same time, give basketball fans something to cheer for.

The Carmelo Anthony Summer Pro-Am tour rolled through Baltimore on Monday night, attracting a packed house to St. Frances for what was billed as a heavyweight battle between NBA stars Kevin Durant and Brandon Jennings.

However, before Durant and Jennings took the court, Baltimore native and current San Antonio Spurs Guard Gary Neal led his squad to a 74-66 victory.

“It’s always good to have pros come back play in an involvement like this, especially in the time during the lockout where the basketball season is in question; it was definitely a good thing for the community.”  Neal said.

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ESPN: Bryant, Rose, Paul, Durant to come to Manila for exhibition games

With a lockout in effect and NBA players talking about playing in Europe next season, some big stars are getting a taste of basketball overseas.

According to ESPN, league MVP Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul are among those who will be playing exhibition games in the Philippines this weekend, according to multiple media reports.

With the NBA lockout in place, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose will go to Manila for exhibition games.

The games benefit the MVP Sports Foundation, which helps youth sports programs.

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Thunder struck the Grizzlies in Game 7

Led by these young trio, the Oklahoma City Thunder ousted a tough Memphis Grizzlies team in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals

Kevin Durant scored 39 points on 13-of-25 shooting from the floor, consistently attacking the Memphis Grizzlies’ defense.

Russell Westbrook, had his first playoff triple double with 14 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds and James Harden added 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting off the bench as the Oklahoma City Thunder advanced to the Western Conference Finals to face the Dallas Mavericks in a best-of-seven series.

Westbrook’s triple double performance was the first in Game 7 since Scottie Pippen did it in 1992.