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Three Australians shine in NBA Thursday

By Chris Pike
20 December 2013 05:41PM EST

IT WAS a big night for Australian basketball in the NBA on Thursday with three players all starting in the same match as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Golden State Warriors in a thriller.

There were just two matches in the NBA on Thursday night with Oklahoma City cruising to victory over Chicago 107-95 and then San Antonio beat Golden State 104-102 in a thriller that saw Australian players Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills and Aron Baynes all start.

Oklahoma City continued its blistering form while also maintaining Chicago's horror stretch without star point guard Derrick Rose with the Thunder cruising to a 12-point victory at home on Thursday night.

The victory sees Oklahoma City improve to a 21-4 record on the season and to be unbeaten after 13 matches at the Energy Arena tying an all-time franchise record for the best home start that was set in 1976/77 when they were known as the Seattle Supersonics.

Meanwhile, the Bulls have now lost 14 of their last 16 matches coinciding with the loss of Rose to a knee injury, and with Luol Deng also again missing through injury against Oklahoma City.

Kevin Durant once again led the way for the Thunder with 32 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three steals on the back of shooting 13-of-20 from the field and 4-of-5 from long range.

Point guard Russell Westbrook added 20 points and 10 assists while Reggie Jackson scored 18 points off the bench and Thabo Sefolosha scored 10 points to go with five boards and four assists.

Centre Joakim Noah top-scored for Chicago with 23 points and 12 rebounds with Taj Gibson scoring 16 points, DJ Augustin 15, Mike Dunleavy 11, Carlos Boozer 10 and Tony Snell 10.

Then in Oakland, even without multiple championship-winning stars Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, San Antonio won a thriller by two points over Golden State.

The win improves the Spurs to a 21-5 record on the season while the Warriors slipped to 14-13.

It was a memorable night for Australian basketball as well with Aron Baynes and Patty Mills stepping up to start for San Antonio, and Andrew Bogut starting as usual for Golden State.

Baynes started in place of Duncan for the Spurs and Mills in place of Parker, and Baynes finished with two points in just under nine minutes while Mills starred for San Antonio with 20 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists.

Marco Belinelli top-scored for the Spurs, though, with 28 points on the back of 10-of-16 shooting from the field and 4-of-8 from long range.

Kawhi Leonard added 21 points and 10 rebounds with Danny Green also adding 11 points and Boris Diaw nine.

Bogut also had a terrific night for the Warriors finishing with eight points, 18 rebounds, three blocked shots, two assists and two steals.

David Lee top-scored for Golden State with 32 points and 13 rebounds with Stephen Curry adding 30 points and 15 assists.

Klay Thompson added 13 points also for the Warriors.

NBA Results Thursday December 19
Chicago Bulls (9-16) 95 lost to Oklahoma City Thunder (21-4) 107
San Antonio Spurs (21-5) 104 defeated Golden State Warriors (14-13) 102

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