The Spurs had won seven straight from the Thunder in San Antonio, and there wasn’t much reason to be hopeful for an interruption to that string: Paul George was still out, and the disappearance of Pau Gasol, whom the Spurs bought out, wasn’t going to compensate. Billy Donovan tweaked the starting lineup, running Dennis Schröder at shooting guard and moving Terrance Ferguson to small forward. It made no difference: San Antonio was up 13 after the first quarter and the Thunder would never come close to making up the difference. The final was 116-102, the Spurs winning the season series 2-1, and OKC still hasn’t won a game in Alamo City since December 2014.
How awful was it? Only one OKC double-double, and it wasn’t Russell Westbrook. Steven Adams turned in a 17-13; Westbrook had 19 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. All five Thunder starters were deep into the minus zone, Schröder (18 points) the farthest at -23. On the plus side, DeMar DeRozen was at DeTop, +21 for his 18 points. But the heaviest of the heavy lifting was carried by LaMarcus Aldridge, with a 27-10 double-double. Filling that Gasol-shaped hole was Jakob Poeltl, who didn’t score much (5 points) but pulled off two steals, three blocks, and seven rebounds. And probably the highest of low points was early on when radio guy Matt Pinto denounced Ron Garretson as one of the worst zebras in the league.
Tomorrow at home against Memphis, and not only will this Thunder team be tired, but the Grizzlies aren’t quite as bad as they were when they lost by 22 to OKC in February. And while they’re also on the downside of a back-to-back, the Griz won the first night, pounding the Mavericks by, um, thirty.