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Thunder heads to Denver with two-game lead

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma City Thunder are more than just Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

Way more.

A game after scoring a combined 72 points, Oklahoma City's All-Star duo got plenty of help from the rest of the Thunder to build a commanding first-half lead and beat the Denver Nuggets 106-89 in Game Two on Wednesday night.

The first-round playoff series shifts to Denver on Saturday night with Oklahoma City leading, 2-0.

"Everybody chipped in tonight," said Durant, the NBA's scoring champion the past two seasons. "That's what we're going to need."

Durant scored 23 points and Westbrook added 21, but everyone else contributed to a dominant early stretch that propelled Oklahoma City to a 26-point lead early in the second quarter.

Ty Lawson scored 20 points to lead Denver, which could only get as close as 10 in the fourth quarter before Oklahoma City put the game away.

"We gave them too many minutes, too many possessions of they were totally in control," Denver coach George Karl said. "They were energized, they were more physical, they were quicker, probably smarter. The hole was just too big. When it looked like we could get it under 10, a 3-ball would go in or an offensive rebound would break our heart."

The rematch of a series opener that went right down to the wire and featured a controversial non-call on a goaltending on the Thunder's go-ahead basket with 65 seconds left couldn't have been much different than Game One.

Oklahoma City got a balanced performance, with James Harden providing 18 points and Serge Ibaka adding 12 points and 12 rebounds.

"We've done it all year," coach Scott Brooks said. "You don't win the games we've won just having one or two guys. I really believed those guys were going to step up and score some points."

Oklahoma City has beaten the Nuggets four times in 16 days.


Ginobili gives Spurs lift

SAN ANTONIO -- Manu Ginobili scored 17 points in the All-Star's return after missing Game One with an elbow sprain, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Memphis Grizzlies, 93-87, to even the first-round series.

Ginobili wore a thick sleeve to protect his right elbow but played as physically reckless as usual. He stayed questionable until just before tipoff, yet even with Ginobili, the top-seeded Spurs didn't have it easy.

Sam Young led Memphis with 17 points. The Grizzlies opened the series with a stunner for their first franchise playoff win, and 2-0 lead seemed possible in the final seconds.

Young's three-pointer with 14.9 seconds left made it 89-87 before George Hill sealed the win at the free throw line.

Game Three is Saturday in Memphis.

Tim Duncan had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs, and Hill and Richard Jefferson added 16 apiece.

But the Spurs didn't win this game without Ginobili.

Exactly one week after spraining his right elbow in the regular-season finale, Ginobili finally returned after unsuccessfully lobbying Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to play in Game One.

Ginobili struggled with his shot, going 5 of 13 from the field, but got to the foul line 13 times. He had seven rebounds and four assists.

Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, who combined for 49 points in the opener, were far less dominant in Game Two. Randolph scored 11 points on 5-of-14 shooting and Gasol had 12 points, making just 2 of 9. Gasol had 17 rebounds.

Duncan fouled out of the game in 35 minutes, a sign that the Spurs were far more physical this time around.

Tony Allen scored 15 points and Mike Conley had 13 for Memphis.

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