Thunder (32-10, 13-7 road) vs. Spurs (32-9, 17-6 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 109.2 (7th), Spurs – 110.2 (3rd)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 101.6 (4th), Spurs – 101.5 (3rd)
Pace: Thunder – 96.0 (6th), Spurs – 94.8 (11th)
If the Thunder are to keep rolling, it’s going to take some kind of effort tonight. On the road, second night of a back-to-back, trying win a fifth straight game without Russell Westbrook, and a fourth against a Western playoff team. This one happens to be for first in the West, and would give OKC a 3-0 lead over the Spurs and wrap up the season series.
But enough about that. What is KD gonna do? Can he really go for another 40? Can he continue doing what he’s doing? I think it’s a whole lot to ask of someone even of the ability of Durant to expect 40 on 13-21 shooting or something. He’s historically never scored all that wonderfully against San Antonio, so really, tonight might be more about OKC’s others than another Durant explosion.
Then again, we’re talking about KD here, which means all logic and understanding seems to fly out the window.
Three Big Things
1. Reggie. In two games against the Spurs, Reggie Jackson scored 23 on 10-14 shooting and 21 on 8-14. But in both of those games, Jackson was coming off the bench as OKC’s X-factor. Now, he’s starting. Can he carve up the Spurs again, or will his role and responsibility get in the way?
2. Waves. The Spurs can come at you in onrushing tidal waves of momentum, hitting a flurry of shots and rolling behind their crowd for game-changing 14-2 runs. The Thunder can often withstand those because of their sheer talent, but tonight, OKC’s much better suited to be playing with a lead. A good start is necessary, because while the Thunder bench whipped San Antonio’s in the first two meetings, OKC’s second unit isn’t as deep anymore.
3. KD. What’s he gonna do?
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Kevin.