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Thunder vs Spurs preview: can OKC continue recovery vs San Antonio?

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The Thunder fell apart against the Spurs the first go round; can they finish what they start tonight?

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder are looking to start up a new winning streak against the hot San Antonio Spurs tonight. San Antonio has won four of the last five meetings including a most recent W on Nov 17. The Spurs are 8-2 in their last ten games and they aren’t looking like they will slow down for OKC.

On the other side, the Thunder just snapped their three game losing streak against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Paul George played phenomenally. In their 111-107 win, George scored 36 points, shooting over 50 percent while dishing out 9 assists. PG13’s true success was getting to the free throw line 11 times and connecting all 11.

Even though San Antonio has the winning numbers against OKC over the past five games, the Thunder’s strong start last time shows that OKC has what it takes to win, they just have to finish it.

While the Spurs are waiting on the injured Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio is still third in the Western Conference. The Spurs’ offense isn’t the only recipe over their recent success, it’s the defense + LaMarcus Aldridge. LMA is leading the Spurs with 22 points per game.

In the last game played, San Antonio rallied back from a 23 point deficit at home to escape with a three point win. OKC played great defense from the most part, but they played conservative and relaxed in the 2nd half, leading to the letdown. Another reason why SA won that game because the Thunder couldn’t get enough offense from the big three in the fourth quarter.

OKC needs to get Melo back involved with the offense, he hasn’t scored over 20 points since Nov 24th, though he was the leading scorer in the first matchup. In order to beat the Spurs, Anthony needs to keep San Antonio defenders on their heels by scoring the ball efficiently and showing his facilitating skills as he did vs Minnesota. His patience against the Timberwolves would be a great example for Russell Westbrook to follow, who continues to struggle in shotmaking and decisions in the half court set.

Key Matchup

Steve Adams vs. LaMarcus Aldridge.

Questions

Can OKC bench stop San Antonio’s bench? The Spurs bench is led by two great veterans in Rudy Gay and Manu Ginoboli. Gay is averaging 12 points per game and the veteran Ginoboli is putting up 8 points per game while continuing to have a major impact on the team’s performance.

Poll

Who do you think will win tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    Thunder
    (103 votes)
  • 55%
    Spurs
    (126 votes)
229 votes total Vote Now