By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
The Thunder beat San Antonio 100-88 on Thursday night in OKC. Here’s some rapid reaction:
The Thunder led end to end and felt in control the entire time, but when you looked up at the scoreboard with five minutes left, San Antonio had somehow cut the deficit to three (typical Spurs). But the Thunder used a quick 5-0 run to capture back momentum and eventually the game, started with two Russell Westbrook threes and capped by a Kevin Durant 30-foot dagger. Game-clinching sequence.
It was over when…
…OKC stomped the life out of San Antonio in the closing minutes, ending the game on an 8-0 run. Westbrook and Durant combined for 11 points in the final five minutes, while the Spurs only had four.
Star of the game – Russell Westbrook
You could make an argument that Westbrook has been OKC’s best player the past couple months. And that’s not a knock on KD, but rather a compliment to Russ. He’s been that good, limiting turnovers, controlling the game and never taking a possession off. His stat-line was good (27 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals) and his energy was contagious (he must have gained three extra possessions for OKC with hustle rebounds).
Where did that come from?
In his past eight games leading up to tonight, Derek Fisher was a combined 2/23 shooting for seven points. So…uh…I guess you could say he was due for a breakout game? But honestly, not even the most delusional and optimistic Thunder fan could have expected this. Fisher went 6/8 from the field and 5/7 from three in 15 minutes, scoring 17 huge points. He had more made threes in the first half than he has had in a game the past four seasons. So, maybe Scott Brooks knew what he was doing all along, rounding Derek Fisher, Spurs Killer back into form. Sarcasm, kinda…
Stats of note
-The Thunder had zero turnovers in the first quarter
-Derek Fisher: 17 points in 15 minutes / Tony Parker: 2 points in 25 minutes. As we all expected.
-OKC is 33-5 at home this season.
-Derek Fisher hasn’t hit five threes in a game since January 2009.
Nice win for OKC, no doubt about that but, but San Antonio basically played without two of its big three. Manu Ginobli missed the game with a hamstring issue and Tony Parker was clearly hobbled, going 1/6 for two points in 25 invisible minutes. If full strength, the Spurs will be a different team come playoff time.
OKC and the Spurs now tied in the loss column
Immediately after postgame duties, the Thunder are set to board a plane to Indiana that isn’t expected to land until 3 or 4 a.m. Then OKC has to play a well-rested and physical Pacers team (they haven’t played since Monday) less than 24 hours after tipping off against the Spurs. Talk about a brutal back-to-back. Will be interesting to see how they respond.