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Thunder Views: Running out of steam in San Antonio

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OKC now sits at fifth in the West with 6 games remaining.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday night was a back and forth battle in San Antonio that included ten lead changes and seven ties. It wasn’t the smoothest four quarters for either group, but it was a one possession game in the final minute.

Russell Westbrook missed two key three pointers in the final minute, as his recent clutch-time inefficiency continued, but hey, the Thunder ride Russ when it matters most, so that’s going to happen sometimes. This wasn’t the only issue however, as OKC went through a seven-minute fourth quarter stretch with just two field goals. Not their best showing.

It wasn’t pretty, but then again, there hasn’t been many shiny performances as of late.

Spotlight

I’m never one to take the glass-half-empty point of view, so we’ll save the ugly numbers for Quick Rumbles. Instead, let’s take a look at PG and TFerg’s new commercial and Russ’ eighth annual Why Not? Bowl.

The 19-year-old rookie was the latest beneficiary of George’s publicity-sharing habits, as the all-star did this with then-rookie Joe Young in Indiana back in 2015. Here’s the two clips:

Not bad for a rook.

Russell Westbrook held his eight annual Why Not? Bowl on Tuesday night, supporting the Why Not? Foundation. Russ’ philanthropic efforts have made a large impact on the OKC community and elementary schools throughout the country over the last 8 years. Here’s the story.

Quick Rumbles

Now onto the numbers from Thursday night in San Antonio -

  • PG finished the night with 26 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals.
  • Russ went 7/19 from the field for 19 points. He would add 11 rebounds and 3 steals, but was just 2/8 in the fourth quarter.
  • Steven Adams racked up another double-double, this time going for 10 and 13.
  • The Thunder’s free throw struggles continued, as they went 14-21 from the charity stripe.
  • OKC turned the ball over 15 times. The Spurs turned that into 22 points of their own.
  • The Thunder had issues on the defensive glass yet again, giving up 14 offensive rebounds. They lost the battle on the boards 48-43.
  • The bench struggled, with no reserves finishing with a positive net rating. They were outscored by the Spurs bench unit 41-21.
  • Worth noting - Dejounte Murray was tremendous last night, and Gregg Popovich noticed:
  • A positive note? Corey Brewer added 14 points, because of course he did.

A Look Ahead

The Spurs jumped into fourth with this win as the Thunder slid down to the five spot. The two teams are tied in the record department, but San Antonio owns the tiebreaker.

With 6 games remaining (3 homes, 3 away), OKC is a half-game up on New Orleans, 1 game up on Minnesota, and 1.5 games up on the Jazz. They’re now tied with New Orleans and San Antonio in the loss column, while just a game ahead of Minnesota and Utah in that category.

Thursday’s loss makes the remaining 6 games that much more important. Next up is the Denver Nuggets in the second game of OKC’s final back-to-back of the regular season. This is a must-win for the Nuggets, who’re currently two games out of the final Western Conference playoff spot with 7 games left.

Tonight’s game tips off at 7:00 CT.