league roundup

Thunder pulls away from Heat

– Almost every statistic was what the Miami Heat would have wanted.

They kept Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook off the foul line for the most part, watched Oklahoma City's two stars combine to miss every three-pointer they tried, limited both to under 20 points and held the Thunder far below their typical scoring output of late.

And even that wasn't enough.

Durant and Westbrook both scored 19 points and the Thunder beat the Heat 94-86 on Tuesday night — the victory putting Oklahoma City over the .500 mark for the first time this season.

"We did a great job of keeping our composure, just playing through the defense," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.

The stats that doomed the Heat: A 21-11 difference in turnovers, a 22-9 disparity in points off turnovers, and the Thunder getting up 92 shots to Miami's 68.

"To leave a real competitive defensive game like that on the table is pretty disappointing," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Westbrook grabbed 10 rebounds, Durant added eight rebounds and eight assists, Reggie Jackson scored 16 points and Anthony Morrow added 12 for Oklahoma City — who were nine games under .500 in late November, when Durant was still sidelined because of a broken foot.


• GIVE HIM A HAND: Kawhi Leonard had 17 points and 15 rebounds in another strong outing since returning from a hand injury, and San Antonio won its fourth in a row by beating host Denver 109-99. Leonard has been a big part of the Spurs' recent surge, playing for the third time since returning from a bruised hand that had sidelined him for the previous 15 games.

• AND ALDRIDGE COULD USE A THUMB: Trail Blazers All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge won't play in Wednesday night's game against the Phoenix Suns because of a left thumb injury. Aldridge leads Portland with averages of 23.5 points and 10.4 rebounds.