Oklahoma City wins its 11th game in a row | NBA
Serge Ibaka tied his career high with 25 points and grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs 107-93 for its 11th straight victory.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Serge Ibaka ripped away an offensive rebound, got hacked in the process and found his way toward midcourt to flex his muscles in celebration.
Ibaka is a force, and what better way to show it than by delivering perhaps his best game of the season against a rival who had a player take a jab at him on Twitter?
Ibaka tied his career high with 25 points and grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs 107-93 Monday night for its 11th straight victory.
The result kept San Antonio (19-7) from creating a virtual tie with the Thunder (20-4) for the league's best record. It was the first meeting of the Western Conference powerhouses since San Antonio's Stephen Jackson made a threatening post about Ibaka on Twitter, drawing a $25,000 fine from the league.
"I don't want to talk about it," said Ibaka, who set the tone for Oklahoma City by making his first seven shots. "A great win for us. We need that. It's about a team win."
Jackson happened to make his return after missing the previous 14 games with a broken finger.
"Whatever was said on the court is going to stay on the court and I'm going to leave it alone," Jackson said. "I wish Serge the best."
The Spurs never found an answer for Ibaka, who had a mere four points while fighting foul trouble in Oklahoma City's season-opening loss at San Antonio. He finished 10 for 16 from the field, led the Thunder to a 49-37 rebounding advantage and also blocked three shots.
"He hurt us bad. ... He was hitting everything," said Jackson, who apologized to Ibaka on Twitter after the initial post.
"That's the same way we lost last year in the playoffs, by him hitting those same shots. I take my hat off."
Tony Parker and Nando De Colo had 14 points apiece to lead the Spurs.
Lin leads Rockets
past Knicks in New York
NEW YORK — Jeremy Lin won again at Madison Square Garden — and for the first time this season, the New York Knicks didn't.
Lin had 22 points and eight assists in his return to New York, leading the Houston Rockets to a 109-96 victory that ended the Knicks' 10-game home winning streak to open the season.
Cheered then jeered, and later clobbered on a flagrant foul by Tyson Chandler, Lin added another masterpiece to the ones he put together last season during the height of Linsanity.
No longer the fan favorite he was when wearing the home uniform, Lin got a mixed reception when he left the game with 2:25 remaining and Houston leading by 16 points.
"It was a lot of fun playing out there and I think our team, we took a step in the right direction," Lin said. "And for me, it was great to be back and it was a lot of fun to play on that court again."
James Harden had 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who blew out the Knicks 131-103 on Nov. 23 in Houston.
Rookie Chris Copeland scored a career-high 29 points for the Knicks.
• Jamal Crawford, a graduate of Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, scored 15 points to help the visiting Los Angeles Clippers beat Detroit 88-76.
The Clippers have won 10 games in a row and the Pistons have lost five straight.
• Glen Davis scored 28 points to lead host Orlando past Minnesota 102-93, ending the Timberwolves' winning streak at four.
Kevin Love led Minnesota with 23 points and 15 rebounds.
• Shannon Brown scored 22 points as Phoenix beat visiting Sacramento 101-90 for its first three-game winning streak of the season. The Kings have lost five in a row.
• Mike Conley scored 17 points to help host Memphis beat Chicago 80-71.