San Antonio Spurs News

Spurs vs. Thunder recap, reactions: Just not enough to keep up

By Rob Wolkenbrod
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MARCH 10: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives to the basket against the San Antonio Spurs on March 10, 2018 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MARCH 10: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives to the basket against the San Antonio Spurs on March 10, 2018 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The San Antonio Spurs dropped their second consecutive game on the road. This time, to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The San Antonio Spurs entered Saturday’s primetime matchup vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder. With just a few games between their No. 5 spot and the No. 9 outside the playoffs, it was a must-win matchup before Monday’s contest vs. the Houston Rockets and after a road loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Well, the Thunder mostly kept the Spurs in check to start. LaMarcus Aldridge was controlled under the hoop, with consistent double teams on him defensively, causing the offense to stall and fall to double-digit deficits multiple times. He failed to get momentum for most, if not the entire game, which could have been the difference toward a win.

Keeping it close!

LA now in double figures with 11 points #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/MN9T6MK4tO

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 11, 2018

However, the 3-point shot kept San Antonio in the game, with a 6-for-11 mark at one point in the first half. That included Davis Bertans‘ back-to-back shots to narrow an OKC lead and keep the Spurs in the game. He found trouble staying in the game due to foul trouble (5 fouls in 10 minutes).

Davis came off the bench to make a couple of long 3️⃣-pointers before the end of the half ? https://t.co/KyrOIGn2Q8

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 11, 2018

Free throw shooting was almost nonexistent, though, for the other source of scoring, as the team went 1-for-4 through three quarters at the charity stripe. The Thunder quadrupled this.

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The Spurs looked to close in on the lead in the fourth quarter until the little-used Nick Collison entered the game. His energy shifted the momentum further in Oklahoma City’s hands, scoring seven points in three minutes and deflated the Silver and Black, with the crowd behind him on every play. So not Russell Westbrook, Paul George or Carmelo Anthony, but Collison may have put the game out of reach in the final half-dozen minutes.

San Antonio’s deficit fell to 20 points and it seemed like a comeback was impossible. The lead got cut to seven with just two minutes to go, but it was too late since Oklahoma City pushed the lead back to 12 and ended any chance at another late-game spurt. It was 104-94, Thunder.

It’s a problematic turn of events for the Spurs, who now sit at 37-29 and no longer in fifth place. They have one fewer loss than the No. 9 Denver Nuggets and No. 10 Utah Jazz, so there’s every reason to be nervous in the Alamo City and clamor for Kawhi Leonard’s return. He’s needed for this team to go anywhere before the season ends, even if it’s no guarantee the Leonard of old shows up.

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Monday’s game vs. the Houston Rockets will not make things any easier. San Antonio just does not have the offensive firepower to counter these high-octane teams in the Western Conference, and it could continue to lead to their demise.

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