After a three-game hiatus, Steven Adams will return to the starting lineup as the Thunder takes on the Spurs in San Antonio. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.
Oklahoma City (7-7) has won three-straight – beating Chicago, Dallas and the L.A. Clippers handily at home. San Antonio (9-6) comes off a road loss to Minnesota, but the Spurs’ last three wins are against the very same Mavericks, Bulls and Clippers. The early schedule similarities indicate a tight game on Friday night.
LaMarcus Aldridge leads a balanced Spurs squad with 22.0 points and 8.3 rebounds a night. Seven other Spurs average 8.0+ ppg including 40-year-old Manu Ginobili and 37-year-old Pau Gasol.
San Antonio is fifth in the league in defensive rating and that’s without two-time Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard. Leonard is recovering from right quad tendinopathy, which has limited his mobility since the preseason.
Long-time point guard Tony Parker is also out for the Spurs. Parker had surgery on a ruptured tendon in his left quad during the offseason and is expected to return near the end of November.
Rudy Gay, who spurned an offer to join the Thunder as a free agent, averages 12.0 points as San Antonio’s sixth man. Gay’s decision paved the way for OKC to trade for Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony shot just 3-for-10 in his return to action on Wednesday, but he made 11 free throws and finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds in the Thunder’s 92-79 win. Russell Westbrook led OKC with 21 points, five boards and seven assists.
Jerami Grant is becoming the Thunder's most reliable reserve, as he's reached double-figures in four of the past five games.
Tonight is the first of four regular season contests against San Antonio. The Spurs come to Oklahoma City on Dec. 3rd.