Spurs welcome OKC to Alamo City

(SportsNetwork.com) - When the 2014-15 NBA schedule came out, this Christmas matchup between the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs seemed like a battle for Western Conference supremacy.

Fast-forward through injuries and Thursday's contest at AT&T Center is between the seventh and 10th best teams in the ultra-loaded Western Conference.

The defending champion Spurs were without All-Star guard Tony Parker for five games earlier this month. Now, Kawhi Leonard is sidelined indefinitely with a torn ligament in his right hand.

The Thunder were without Kevin Durant for a long period to begin the season and the reigning MVP has sat the last three with a sprained right ankle. He has been ruled out for the game against the Spurs.

OKC has also been without Russell Westbrook for a chunk of the campaign. He's back and playing at a high level, but it hasn't helped the Thunder, who've lost two straight and three of their last four.

The Thunder's consecutive losses came at home to the New Orleans Pelicans and Portland Trail Blazers. The Portland loss came on Tuesday, in overtime, 115-111.

Westbrook went for 40 points with 10 rebounds and six assists in the loss. But unlike Portland's Damian Lillard, who scored 40 on 21 shots, it took Westbrook a career-high 34 shot attempts to do it.

Reggie Jackson and Serge Ibaka had 21 and 16 points, respectively, for Oklahoma City.

The Thunder squandered a 10-point lead over the game's final two minutes.

Lillard found himself wide open at the top of the key coming off a pick and buried the trey to tie the game. Westbrook was off the mark from way beyond the arc as the buzzer sounded.

"They pushed Russell out," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of Westbrook's final shot in regulation. "He made a tough decision. We have to get a better shot than that."

LaMarcus Aldridge converted a three-point play following a Jackson basket to open the overtime period. Wesley Matthews knocked down a 3-pointer the next trip down prior to Westbrook's layup that made it a two-point game.

It stayed that way until Lillard dialed in a trey, then he hit a pair of free throws with just over a minute left before Dorell Wright's tip-in gave the Blazers a comfortable seven-point cushion.

The Spurs, meanwhile, halted a four-game losing streak Monday with a 125-118 home win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Parker scored 26 points and Tim Duncan posted his third straight double-double to help the Spurs. Duncan went for 21 points and 12 rebounds, Boris Diaw added a season-high 23 points off the bench and Manu Ginobili scored 19 with 10 assists for San Antonio.

The Spurs assisted on 37 of their 49 baskets and shot a season-high 63.6 percent from the field.

Parker was critical in his return from injury.

"I was just trying to bring energy and be aggressive," said Parker. "Just happy to be back out there."

The Spurs toppled the Thunder in six games in the Western Conference Finals last season. OKC has won five straight against the Spurs in the regular season, including two in a row in the Alamo City.