Oklahoma City Thunder

Thunder Bench Plays Key Role In Getting Revenge On The Spurs

Craig Hofeld


The Thunder were looking for revenge on Saturday night after losing to the Spurs in San Antonio just two days before in double overtime. In a very back and forth game, it was the Thunder and their bench who came out on top and came through with the revenge.


The Thunder didn’t quite have the great start against the Spurs at home as they did on the road Thursday night. There was very little ball movement, and little success shooting the ball. The team was 2-11 to start the game. Fortunately for OKC, the defense remained solid enough to keep them in the game.

Oklahoma City continued to struggle from the floor to start the second quarter. Searching for some kind of boost, Billy Donovan put Abdel Nader in the game. Nader managed to go 5-5 from the floor for 10 points. This spark for the Thunder going just enough to cut the deficit to 60-51 heading into halftime.

Billy Donovan surely made some halftime adjustments as the Thunder opened the third quarter on a 13-3 run to take a 64-63 lead. The Spurs definitely bounced back and threatened to take the lead from the Thunder. However, Abdel Nader and Dennis Schröder had a couple of huge moments to give the Thunder an 86-80 lead heading into the final 12 minutes.

The Spurs were doing everything in their power to cut into the Thunder’s lead in the fourth quarter, but Dennis Schröder had other plans. Schröder was essentially automatic, and he got a little help from Patrick Patterson with a big three point shot. The Thunder went on a run to take a large lead with about four minutes to go. The Spurs waived the white flag and put their bench in the game, as the Thunder coasted to a 122-112 win.


Abdel Nader has been slowly receiving more and more playing time off of the bench. He has had a few “breakout” games in recent weeks. However, tonight was without a doubt his best performance of the season.

Nader went 6-6 from the floor for 15 points. It’s not only the efficient scoring that earns him the player of the game, it’s the way he did it. Oklahoma City was shooting poorly and had no life on offense until he entered the game. Abdel Nader definitely changed the course of this game in favor of the Thunder.


•This Team Has Composure.

After losing in double overtime to the Spurs a couple of nights ago, and allowing Aldridge to score 56 points, the Thunder could’ve easily folded tonight when San Antonio took a double-digit lead. However, the Thunder kept fighting and showed some extreme composure.

The Thunder trailed for much of the first half. Thanks to some solid halftime adjustments they were able to take over the second half for the win. This wouldn’t have happened if OKC couldn’t keep their composure. They stuck to what they know, which is defense, and kept shooting with confidence. They stayed true to their game-plan and came out on top. This is the kind of team you want to have when the post season comes around.

•Thunder Bench Comes Up Huge Once Again.

As many times as we’ve had to talk about the Thunder bench being a let down, we’ve also had plenty of games where we can mention how good they’ve been. The thing about this OKC bench is that the production doesn’t come from just one guy.

Oklahoma City has four or five guys on the bench who could go off on any given night. Tonight, it was Schröder with 19 points, and Nader with 15. But, don’t forget about Patrick Patterson’s quiet 13 points on 3-3 shooting from deep. I’d be willing to be that the Thunder win every game that they have three double-digit scorers on the bench.


The Thunder will have a couple of days off before going on a short road trip to Atlanta. They’ll play the Hawks on Tuesday night at 6:30 PM CST. The game will be televised on FSOK and broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.

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