Ugly loss, pivotal game
A loss Sunday at Indiana was perhaps the Thunder’s worst performance of the season. It makes tonight’s game against the Spurs, the first game of a pivotal four-game homestand one of the most important all season.
A win tonight in the Ford Center puts the Thunder two games in front of the San Antonio Spurs. Oklahoma City would be in good position to finish as the sixth seed or higher.
A loss tonight in the Ford Center puts the Thunder in a precarious position of possibly falling to the seventh or eighth seed. San Antonio would be tied with OKC and the Spurs would own the tiebreaker having clinched the season series.
One game won’t make or break the season. But it’s a huge game. The Thunder has exhibited a bounce-back mentality all season. They’re also catching the Spurs at a good time.
Point guard Tony Parker is sidelined by a broken hand. San Antonio is an older team, challenged by back-to-back games. The Spurs have to be fatigued, having lost a grueling overtime decision Sunday night in Atlanta. They probably didn’t check into their hotel around 2 a.m.
The Spurs, though, have been playing some of their best basketball in recent weeks in large part because Manu Ginobili has been playing well the past six weeks.
In San Antonio’s two wins over OKC, Ginobili made a diving-out-of-bounds, game-saving play in an overtime win in the Ford Center in January, then blocked Kevin Durant’s shot, the key play in a win in San Antonio last month.
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