The Spurs haven’t had to wait long to get a shot at regular season redemption against the Thunder. It was only 8 days ago that the Spurs, fresh yet short-handed off a 5-game COVID-induced absence, fell in a heartbreaker to the Thunder in Oklahoma City, a last-second 3-pointer from Luguentz Dort proving to be the nail in the coffin. OKC followed that up with both a win over the Hawks and a loss to the Nuggets.
San Antonio, meanwhile, have largely rolled since then, picking up 2 wins and nearly a third in their loss to the Brooklyn Nets after some late-game heroics of their own. They’re coming off their biggest win of the season, a 26-point shellacking of a surprisingly good New York Knicks team and have a chance, with a win tonight, to get to 3-1 in their 4 games since returning from the lay-off and 19-13 overall ahead of the All Star Break, a great place to be with such a loaded schedule coming after the aforementioned break.
Oklahoma City Thunder (14-21) vs, San Antonio Spurs (18-13)
March 4, 2021 | 8:00 PM CST
Watch: FSSW | Listen: WOAI (1200 AM)
Spurs Injuries: Derrick White, Rudy Gay, and Devin Vassell (COVID protocols - OUT), LaMarcus Aldridge (stomach illness - day to day)
Thunder Injuries: George Hill (thumb - OUT), Hamidou Diallo (OUT)
What to watch for:
- The Thunder are on a SEGABABA, having played a game against the Dallas Mavericks last night. Heavy legs on OKC players could be something to watch for as tonight’s game plays out.
- Dejounte Murray scored 10 of his 17 points in the 4th quarter of the win over the Knicks, also leading the team in field goal attempts for that quarter. In what has been an all-around breakout season for the young guard, Murray has shown a willingness to take the big boy shots down the stretch that are expected of All Star-caliber players. It’s been a treat watching Murray grow into the two-way force that he’s slowly becoming. In his last game against the Thunder, Murray finished with 27 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists.
- DeMar DeRozan, meanwhile, didn’t take a single shot in the 4th quarter, but did manage to pick up 3 more assists in the period, pushing his total for the game to 11. In a season where he’s averaging a career-best 7.3 assists a game, this was the 3rd straight game where DeRozan recorded exactly 11 assists and the 4th time in 7 games that he recorded double-digits assists.
- While the Spurs ultimately lost on that last second 3-pointer from Dort, they were carved up throughout the entire game by 3rd year Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Gilgeous-Alexander went off for a career-high 42 points on 13/20 shooting from the field, 6/11 from 3, and 10/11 at the charity stripe, helping OKC back from a halftime deficit that put them in position for that game-winning shot. A better job containing the young guard should be at the top of the Spurs’ list of priorities tonight.
For the Thunder fan’s perspective, please visit Welcome to Loud City.
As always, the PtR Game Thread will be up a half hour before tip-off for all PtR members who want to discuss the game right here on PtR.