Time: 7:30 PM CT
Radio: WWLS (98.1 FM OKC/97.1 FM Tulsa)
The Oklahoma City Thunder (38-29) gets a visit from the San Antonio Spurs (37-28) tonight at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Spurs have been struggling of late, going 3-7 over the last 10 games and find themselves alongside OKC in the thick of the Western Conference standings.
The Thunder is currently in seventh-place in the West, with San Antonio in fifth. Both teams are 14 games back of first place with the season-series split 1-1, so OKC could make a move up with a victory. San Antonio will be without Kawhi Leonard yet again, with Pau Gasol being questionable with a shoulder injury. Grabbing a win is certainly possible for the Thunder but the team will need to first crack the Spurs’ league-best defense in terms of points allowed (99.6 OPP).
Tip-off is at 7:30 PM CT and will be televised nationally on ABC. The Thunder is a 5.5-point favorite according to Odds Shark.
- Terrance Ferguson: Out – Concussion
- Andre Roberson: Out – Knee
- Pau Gasol: Questionable – Shoulder
- Kawhi Leonard: Out – Quad
Spurs: Dejounte Murray, Patty Mills, Kyle Anderson, LaMarcus Aldridge, Davis Bertans
|Team||EFG%||FTA Rate||TOV%||OREB%||OPP EFG%||OPP FTA||OPP TOV%||OPP OREB%|
Thunder O & D
Spurs O & D
The season series is tied 1-1
Nov 17: SAS 104, OKC 101 [BOX SCORE]
Dec 3: OKC 90, SAS 87 [BOX SCORE]
The First Two. The first two match-ups this season have been close, as both wrapped up with just three points separating the teams. The Spurs grabbed a 104-101 win on November 17 — overcoming a 23-point deficit to shock the Thunder. OKC then won an ugly defensive battle on December 3, squeaking out a 90-87 win behind a 22-9-10 stat line from Russell Westbrook. LaMarcus Aldridge did not play in the second meeting.
Stopping LaMarcus. Aldridge has a history of playing well against the Thunder. He dropped 26 points and 9 rebounds in the Spurs’ comeback win over OKC on November 17, hitting 10-of-12 from the free throw line in the process. His ability to stretch the floor could be problematic for a Thunder defense ill-equipped for stopping him. If Carmelo Anthony draws that assignment, he’s going to need a lot of help.
Riding the Big Man. Steven Adams has averaged 17.5 points and 9 rebounds against the Spurs this season. The Thunder should look to him early and often regardless of who plays for the Spurs. If Pau Gasol does indeed miss the contest, even more reason to feed him.
Brewer Watch. Corey Brewer has scored in double-figures in each of the last two games for OKC. He entered the starting five on Thursday and scored 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Expect him to convert a number of easy looks if he can continue to develop chemistry with Westbrook. The point guard praised Brewer’s cutting ability earlier in the week — which is something OKC lacked greatly since Andre Roberson went down.
The OK3. The group of Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony has yet to play well at the same time against the Spurs this season. The trio shot 19-of-55 (34.5 percent) in blowing the 23-point lead in November, then combined for a 15-of-49 (30.6 percent) clip in a narrow victory over a depleted San Antonio roster in December. The three men will need to put together a solid effort tonight if the Thunder is going to win an important game at home. PG13 has the most room for improvement, as he’s averaged just 13 PPG on 21 percent shooting against the Spurs this season.