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Oklahoma City Thunder: Thunder hosts Spurs on Monday, then it's time to hit the road

Oklahoma City will play 15 of its next 22 games away from Chesapeake Energy Arena
by Darnell Mayberry Published: December 16, 2012

Enjoy the Thunder while you can Monday night.

After this Spurs game inside Chesapeake Energy Arena closes out a five-game home stand, the Thunder will be hitting the road for its most brutal stretch of this year's schedule.

Fifteen of the Thunder's next 22 games will be on the road.

It's an inevitable slate that comes on the heels of the Thunder having the benefit of playing 16 of its first 24 at home.

It's also a stretch that will show what the Thunder is really made of this season.

Oklahoma City has jumped out to an NBA-best 19-4 start with the help of its favorable home stretch. The Thunder is 13-2 at home going into Monday night and will have completed a league-most 16 home games after the Spurs contest.

But from Tuesday through the end of January, the Thunder's challenge will be maintaining the early season momentum while managing fatigue that potentially could creep in from being on the road for 26 days out of 45.

“It's going to be our focus and our concentration,” said Nick Collison when asked what the key will be. “I think that's kind of what it always is, avoiding bad stretches and avoiding getting lost on possessions on the offensive end and the defensive end.”

The Thunder seems to have had the right ingredients for road success over the past three seasons. Since 2009-10, the Thunder has a .609 road winning percentage, the highest in the league over that span. The Spurs have won four more over that span but also have lost three more, which puts them just a shade behind the Thunder for second with a .607 road winning percentage.

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