After two losses, Spurs looking to come back against Thunder
Photo Credit: Soobum Im / USA TODAY Sports
For the first time since early November, the San Antonio Spurs have lost two back-to-back games – to the New Orleans Pelicans and the Dallas Mavericks. They need to stop that streak there, which won’t be easy tonight. They’re taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder at home.
The last time the two teams met was in last year’s Western Conference semifinals when the Thunder won to clinch the series. But things have changed in the last eight months. Thunder star Kevin Durant left to join the Golden State Warriors, leaving a huge gap in OKC’s scoring. San Antonio legend Tim Duncan retired – in fact, his last game was that semifinal loss against the Thunder.
Young star Kawhi Leonard has stepped up to fill in that gap. Averaging 25.4 points per game this season, Leonard is the consistent team-leading scorer and is a big reason why the Spurs are 36-11 on the season.
But the Thunder have Russell Westbrook. Even without the help of Durant, Westbrook is putting up one of the most memorable individual seasons in NBA history. He’s averaging a league-leading 30.8 points per game, 10.6 rebounds (first among guards), 10.2 assists (third among guards), and 24 triple-doubles (first by a large margin). He’s assisting on 56.2 percent of his teammates’ baskets (also top in the league). It seems no one can touch Westbrook. (The closest is Houston’s James Harden, and, of course, he’s not involved in tonight’s matchup).
“He’s a great player, and we have to try our best to limit his touches and his catches and looks,” said San Antonio guard Danny Green. “We need to try to make one of their other players beat us.”