You wouldn't think it by the final margin of 100-88, but the Thunder's victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena was anybody's ballgame, despite the following:
*OKC's largest lead was 20 points while San Antonio's largest lead was one.
*There was one tie and just four lead changes — none after the first eight minutes.
*The Thunder nearly led wire-to-wire and trailed for a total of just 73 seconds.
What led to all the uncertainty was a series of alternating spurts from both teams.
The Thunder (55-20) would pull ahead, and the Spurs (56-20) would counter by pulling themselves back in.
“San Antonio's a really good team, so we're happy with the win,” OKC reserve forward Nick Collison said afteward. “We would have loved to have kept an 18-point lead the whole game, but that's probably not going to happen against them. They're going to execute.”
Spurts for OKC:
First quarter – 6-0 to start the game; 14-2 to close out the quarter to take a 29-18 lead.
Second quarter – 26-5 run that carried over from first quarter to take largest lead at 41-21.
Third quarter – 9-0 run to take 64-46 lead.
Fourth quarter – 8-0 start to take an 85-71 lead; closed out the game with a 11-2 run to win by 12.
Spurts for San Antonio:
First quarter – 10-2 run to take a 14-13 lead.
Second quarter – 23-11 run to close out the second quarter and trail 52-44 at halftime.
Third quarter – 10-2 run to close out third quarter and pull to within 77-71.
Fourth quarter – 9-0 run to narrow deficit to 87-84.
Five Thunder players scored in double-digits, lifting OKC's season record to 25-2 when such is the case.
The Thunder's biggest lift came from reserve guard Derek Fisher, who had shot just 2 for 23 (.087) from the field in his previous eight games.
Against the top-seeded Spurs, Fisher scored 17 points in just 15 minutes, shooting 6 for 8 from the floor and 5 for 7 from 3-point range.
“He was great,” Collison said of the 38-year-old Fisher. “That's why you stick with your guys. That's why you stick with it as a player when you're struggling. He struggled earlier and he's really tough mentally. We want him to shoot those shots and tonight he had open looks. He was huge for us. We needed him. For the second group, that was pretty much our offense, so it was big.”