The Oklahoma City Thunder had a chance to get some separation on Thursday night in the Western Conference standings, but instead face an even tougher battle to try to get home court advantage in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
A win at San Antonio would have given the Thunder a two-game edge on the Spurs for fourth place in the West, plus the tie-breaker advantage over San Antonio by virtue of winning three of four games in the season series.
The Spurs prevailed though, winning 103-99 to even the season series, even their record with the Thunder, and now the Spurs have the tie-breaker advantage over OKC by virtue of a better record against conference teams.
The Thunder shot just 26 percent from the field in the fourth quarter, and Russell Westbrook airballed two three-point attempts late in the game as San Antonio won its sixth straight regular season home game against the Thunder.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 11 rebounds after being ruled questionable for the game following a left knee contusion suffered Tuesday night against Washington.
Aldridge delivered a dunk in the final minute to give the Spurs a 99-96 lead.
That came after a Westbrook turnover, part of a poor final two minutes for Westbrook.
In the final 2:30, Westbrook was 0-for-3 from the field, committed two turnovers, and a personal foul.
Paul George led OKC with 26 points and had three 3-pointers.
Westbrook had 19 points and 11 rebounds, but just was 7-for-19 from the field and missed all four 3-point attempts.
Three other Thunder players scored in double figures, with Corey Brewer scoring 14 and Steven Adams and Raymond Felton 10 points each.
The Thunder fall to 44-32 on the season, tied with the Spurs for fourth in the Western Conference standings, with San Antonio now holding the tiebreaker, by a game and a half over OKC in games against conference opponents.
OKC is back home Friday to host the Denver Nuggets at 7:00 pm at Chesapeake Arena, with just six games left in the regular season.