Oklahoma City Thunder (38-29, 22-11 home)

vs.

San Antonio Spurs (37-28, 14-20 away)

Saturday, March 10 :: 7:30 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
TV Coverage:ABC (5 DirecTV, 8 Cox, 705 HD, 5 AT&T U-Verse, 5 Dish)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 4½-point favorite. The over/under is 211.
Online Stream: ABC | WWLS Sports AnimalLive Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Spurs: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Each game is a near must win. Oklahoma City trails fourth seeded New Orleans by a game. With games coming up against Sacramento and Atlanta, stealing tonight’s game is super important.
  • The Thunder and the Spurs have split their regular season meetings, both winning impressively on their home courts.
  • Both teams are trending in weird directions. San Antonio is 3-7 in their last 10 games, Oklahoma City is only 6-4.
  • The Thunder are a slim favorite and will be without Terrance Ferguson (concussion).

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Tonight’s game is on ABC apart of their Saturday night series. Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson & Lisa Salters will be on the call.

SCOUTING THE SUNS

  • The San Antonio Spurs are 37-28 on the season, fifth in the Western Conference.
  • Since Feb. 1, San Antonio is 3-8.
  • In their last game, San Antonio fell to the Golden State Warriors 110-107 on Thursday night.
  • In their all-time series against the Spurs, Oklahoma City is 91-74.
  • Since the Thunder relocated from Seattle, Oklahoma City is 15-19 against San Antonio.
  • When the games are played at the Peake, the Thunder are 10-8 vs. the Spurs.
  • Oklahoma City is 8-2 in their last 10 games vs. San Antonio dating back to Dec. 2012.
  • In their previous meeting, the Thunder beat the Spurs 90-87 on Dec. 3, 2017.
  • San Antonio won the season series against Oklahoma City last season 2-1.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Pau Gasol (shoulder) is questionable.
    Kawhi Leonard (quadricep) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over San Antonio came on Dec. 17, 2012, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 107-93 (14-point margin of victory). Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (39 points) vs. the Spurs occurred during a 130-91 loss on March 25, 2015.

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out for the season.
  • Terrance Ferguson (concussion) is out.

NEXT UP

  • Next week, Oklahoma City will play the Kings, Hawks and Clippers before playing in Toronto for an early noon tip on Sunday, March 18.

WHAT’S IN A SPURS NAME

  • A group of San Antonio investors purchased the Dallas Chaparrals from the American Basketball Association in 1973 and decided to hold a public contest to rename the team.
  • Five thousand entries with over 500 names were submitted.
  • After reconsidering their first decision to call the team the Aztecs (several teams already used that name), the judges (investors and local press representatives) settled on Spurs.
  • It may have just been a coincidence that one of the team’s main investors, Red McCombs, was born in Spur, Texas.



Three Keys to the Game

Defense

While the Thunder have allowed a ton of points since the loss of Andre Roberson, Oklahoma City needs to step up and find a way to limit San Antonio offensively. The Spurs are only 7-18 when they’re held under 100 points. Oklahoma City for all what is worth is 19-5 when holding their opponent under the century mark. Oklahoma City hasn’t held back-to-back opponents under 100 since Jan. 15-17 when they beat the Kings and Lakers.

Rebounding

Rebounding is so imperative to the Thunder. Oklahoma City is 27-10 this season when they out rebound their opponents. Oklahoma City though, a poor 10-19 when they don’t. It’s like the three-point shooting. Oklahoma City was out rebounded by the Spurs, and that contributed to the loss. They have to do a better job tonight.

Turnovers

Oklahoma City needs to figure out their turnover situation. They’re averaging 16.3 turnovers per game since the All-Star Break (27th). The Spurs are getting out into transition more than ever since the break, scoring 19.3 points per game on the break (8th). San Antonio is 24-10 when they win the turnover battle. Oklahoma City has to tonight to have a chance.

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Chuck Chaney

Founder & Editor-in-Chief.
Member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.