Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs Preview
Two Western Conference foes who have been struggling lately face off tonight as the Oklahoma City Thunder head south to the Alamo City for a matchup wih the San Antonio Spurs.
Oklahoma City holds onto a one-half game lead for the third spot in the Western Conference over the Portland Trail Blazers. They are 38-23 on the season but have lost their last three games and are 5-5 in their last 10. San Antonio is further down the standings, just on the bubble of playoff contention in eighth place. They are 34-29 on the season and are 3-7 in their last 10.
In their last matchup on January 12, the Thunder claimed the 10-point win 122-112. Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 24 points and seven assists. Spurs veteran reserve Marco Belinelli matched Westbrook with 24, but it wouldn’t be enough to win.
Time: 8:30pm ET
Arena: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
Channel: FSOK, FSSW-SA
Oklahoma City Thunder Starting Lineup
The Oklahoma City Thunder had won five of six games before going on their recent three-game skid. While the losing streak has come against playoff-level teams like the Sacramento Kings, Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers, that trend won’t stop tonight against San Antonio, where they could use a win to right the ship.
The Thunder and 76ers both had top players out with Paul George and Joel Embiid sidelined. Russell Westbrook had a triple-double with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists to try to get the Thunder back in the win column, but allowing a 37-point first quarter put them in a hole from the beginning.
Despite the losses, the Thunder seem confident as they head towards the playoffs.
“We’re in the third spot,” guard Dennis Schroeder said. “We didn’t have (George), but we had people step up from the bench. When we play the right way, ain’t nobody can beat us.”
Jerami Grant also led the charge against Philadelphia with 23 points, and new power forward Markieff Morris gad 17 points in the loss.
San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup
The Rodeo Road Trip was not kind to the Spurs as they had their worst outing since they started going on the annual road trip. They finished with a 1-7 record and needed a win desperately as they returned home to the AT&T Center.
The Spurs found the defense that has evaded them most of the year on Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons, holding them to just 36 percent from the field.
“When we play good defense, we have a chance to win games,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “When we were at our best this year for that one run, we were first, second or third in every defensive efficiency. All of a sudden, it went bye-bye.”
The Spurs will need the same defensive effort against a team in the Oklahoma City Thunder that can put points up on the board quickly.
San Antonio will be a little thinner up front as they reached a buyout agreement with center Pau Gasol yesterday. Gasol is headed to Milwaukee, so expect Jakob Poeltl to see a minutes increase from here on out.
Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs Betting Odds
San Antonio is a 4.5 point favorite to win tonight’s game at home. Despite their struggles on the road, the Spurs are 23-7 at home and 22-11 as the favorite. Oklahoma City is 17-13 on the road and 7-5 as the underdog.
The over/under is 231 points and the Spurs are -190 on the moneyline after opening at -160. Against the spread, OKC is 33-13-15 and San Antonio is 33-19-11.