Observations, news and notes from Monday’s game……
* Best win of the season. By far.
* The Thunder was down 17 and won. The Thunder shot 35.8 percent and won. The Thunder had one player have a solid offensive game and won.
* About halfway through the fourth quarter, I leaned over and told a team employee that’s exactly what it would be if the Thunder pulled the upset, even though the Spurs were without Manu Ginobili. That person wisely leaned back over to me and said, “The Thunder is playing without Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook.” – Quote of the night.
* Green and Westbrook shot a combined 8-for-32 from the field. Westbrook joked with me after the game as I approached he and Green’s locker, saying the media shouldn’t venture to that side of the room. When I asked why he admitted, “Because we didn’t show up tonight.”
* Interesting that Westbrook was drafted behind the belief that he will eventually be able to slow down guards like Parker. Hasn’t done that in the first two tries. Parker scored a game-high 28 points on 12 of 22 shooting and had seven assists and four rebounds. Westbrook had his moments in the match up. Parker had plenty more.
* Think the Spurs are going to remember this game March 31?
* It helped the Thunder that the Spurs missed 16 of 19 3-pointers, shot 42 percent from the field and turned the ball over an uncharacteristic four times in the fourth quarter and got to the line only 12 times.
* The Thunder tied its season-low with 13 assists, set last Wednesday at Denver.
* OKC turned the ball over nine times in the first 17 minutes and had just three over the final 31minutes, including none in the fourth quarter.
* Nick Collison scored eight points with 10 assists tonight. That’s the good news. The bad news is he broke his middle finger on his shooting hand tonight. He is expected to play Wednesday.
* Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had nice things to say about the Thunder’s building efforts….”It is a fine group of players, and it is only going to get better as they add to their team. These guys will keep gaining experience and corporate knowledge, get used to each other. They have made some new additions too so they are still getting used to each other’s play. It is the beginning of a great future for their franchise.”
* Kevin Durant said his ankle is fine and he’s experienced no setbacks after playing his second game following a seven-game absence. He scored a team-high 25 points but was a little less efficient (10-of-24) than we’re used to seeing.
* I thought Thabo Sefolosha was the player of the game and wrote about him for Tuesday’s paper. How his addition has helped turned the Thunder’s defense around.
* Is it just me or does the halftime act quick change never get old?