The first half of this one was tightly contested. Halfway through the first the Spurs opened up a ten-point lead after an 11-0 run and the two teams traded buckets until, with a little over two minutes left in the first, Jackson hit a desperation three with Parker all over him as the shot clock expired. That started a 10-2 run from the Thunder and the quarter ended with the Spurs up 24-22.
Kawhi Leonard found himself in foul trouble during the second quarter after he picked up his third foul with three minutes left in the half. The second quarter was tightly contested throughout and the the teams traded mini-runs until the Spurs went into the break with a 51-48 lead.
With Leonard in foul trouble Pop started Marco Belinelli in the second half. Without Kawhi, the Spurs were outscored 17-7 and by the time Leonard checked in the Spurs trailed 58-65. The Thunder's length and athleticism bothered the Spurs as they took control of the game with their defense. The Thunder controlled the rest of the game and the Spurs finally fell.
Popovich rested Manu in this one, and the Spurs missed his ball-handling and playmaking because Marco wasn't ready to match the intensity of the Thunder. Pop got the loss he wanted and the Spurs will keep trying to get better. We all know how the last long winning streak ended, so at least we're still in the regular season.
Your Spurs fall to 59-17 and the Thunder sit just two games back in the loss column and own the tiebreaker to effectively make it just one. Just six games until the second season starts and we really see where this team stands.