Saturday brings an epic night of hoops for the state of Oklahoma, and it’s not surprising the Thunder will be in the thick of the action as OKC hosts the Spurs at 7 p.m.
Thunder reporter Steve McGehee (@SteveMcGehee) will be in the building tweeting updates, but until then, here are a few things to know about the matchup:
Last time the Spurs were in OKC..
It was a long time ago, but the Thunder opened the season with a six-point win over the Spurs inside of Chesapeake Energy Arena, on a night where Russell Westbrook shred the San Antonio defense for 33 points and 10 assists. While it was a great springboard win to open the season, a lot has happened since that electric October night.
The Spurs are 60-10 since that bobble to start the season, and San Antonio’s pride and joy would undoubtedly be getting a lot more recognition if it weren’t for the tremendous run by the Golden State Warriors.
It took some time, but LaMarcus Aldridge has figured out how to mesh with San Antonio’s strong cast of characters and his new partner in crime, Kawhi Leonard, is averaging 21 points per outing while shooting 51 percent from the field.
Since the Thunder blew its fourth quarter lead in the 93-85 loss to the Spurs two weeks ago, OKC has won six straight games and is playing its best basketball of the season.
A win over the Spurs (who recently beat the Warriors) to extend the win streak to seven games would be beneficial for the overall team morale, seeing the Thunder appear to be destined for a second round clash with San Antonio in the playoffs.
Spurs resting (updated)
Since the Spurs played last night against the Memphis Grizzlies, head coach Gregg Popovich has decided to rest Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. This will give the Thunder an advantage for sure, and it would be a bad loss if OKC failed to pick up a home win over a depleted Spurs unit.