Oklahoma City earned a much needed 102-92 win tonight against the San Antonio Spurs, breaking a four game losing streak. The Thunder got off to somewhat of a slow start in the first quarter, but went on a 9-0 run that gave them a seven point advantage. An all around team effort and great defense gave Oklahoma City a 29-28 lead at the end of the first. The Thunder continued to streak throughout the second quarter, due to the great play of the second unit. OKC held a 56-49 lead at halftime.
The second half was one of the best halves of the season for Oklahoma City. Great team ball and excellent effort on defense allowed the Thunder to increase their lead throughout the course of the half. The Thunder reserves did their part, giving OKC a 12 point lead when Russell Westbrook checked back in to finish the game in the fourth quarter. The win tonight was one of Oklahoma City’s best performances of the season.
Team Effort Gets The Job Done
The Thunder played possibly the best game of the season as a complete team tonight. Every starter finished in the positive besides Taj Gibson, who still shot 50% from the field. Victor Oladipo again showed that he is best when being setup by Russell Westbrook. Dipo hit several kick out shots beyond the arc, and even threw down an alley-oop from Russ.
The second unit played outstanding tonight and that was the biggest factor in this win. There didn’t seem to be the drop off that we usually see when the starters leave the game. Enes Kanter led the way with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Kanter has been fairly inconsistent since his return from injury. His performance tonight should give him confidence in upcoming games. Doug McDermott also had a great game with 11 points on 50% shooting. The Thunder will be a force to reckon with if McDermott can continue to hit corner 3’s.
31st Triple-Double For Russ
Russell Westbrook recorded his 31st triple-double of the season with 23 points, 13 rebounds, and 13 assists. While I am not one who thinks the Thunder do better with Russ doing less, I do think the team plays better when he scores less. When Russ facilitates and guys hit the open shots, it does more for the team than when he scores 40 or 50 points. Westbrook is on track to finish the season averaging a triple-double. He will need at least 10 assists in every game remaining besides five.
The Thunder will be at home again on Saturday against the Utah Jazz. The Jazz stand in the way of the Thunder winning the Northwest division. A win Saturday afternoon will be huge if the Thunder want a chance at winning the division. The game will start at 2:00 PM CST and will be televised on FSOK. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
Article written by Craig Hofeld. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.