The SAN ANTONIO and the OKLAHOMA CITY will both be gunning for a victory on 12/3/2017 at 7:05 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
SAN ANTONIO vs OKLAHOMA CITY
When: 7:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 3, 2017
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
|707||SAN ANTONIO||-4.5 (-110)||198 (-110)||170
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBATV, FS Southwest (San Antonio), FS Oklahoma
PREDICTION: Spurs 106, Thunder 101
Oddsmakers currently have the OKLAHOMA CITY listed as -4.5 point favorites versus the SAN ANTONIO, while the game’s total is sitting at 198.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Without Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard for much of the season, the San Antonio Spurs have found a way to do much more than tread water.
With Paul George and Carmelo Anthony added to superstar Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City has struggled to even stay afloat as the Thunder’s offense has stagnated with its new look.
On Sunday in Oklahoma City, the two meet in what could be either be a continuation of current trends or a turnaround.
ABOUT THE THUNDER (9-12): Oklahoma City is working on building chemistry with Westbrook, George and Anthony, and Friday’s win marked a step in the right direction. “It was just about finding guys,” George told reporters. “We draw so much attention, myself, Russ, Melo, that we have to be mindful when we do draw that attention. That’s what this offense has got to be about. When we bring two to the ball, we have to move it, we have to play off of one another.” Westbrook handed out 14 assists on Friday while Anthony sacrificed some shots to the hotter hands and ended up 4-of-7 from the floor in 29 minutes
Leonard continues to progress after missing the entire season with a quadriceps injury and is on the road trip with a chance to return against the Thunder or at least soon.
Leonard recently has gone through five-on-five practice sessions and fully participated in shootaround before the Spurs’ win over Memphis on Friday.
“When he says, ‘I feel I can go,’ then he’s got to convince me,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “Because I’m going to err on the conservative side. We’ll see. He’s too valuable to bring back early.”
If Leonard doesn’t return Sunday, he could play Monday when the Spurs return home to play Detroit.
The Spurs have still managed to go 15-7 without the player who finished third in Most Valuable Player voting a year ago.
ABOUT THE SPURS (15-7): Aldridge is close to getting more help in the form of All-Star Kawhi Leonard, who is practicing with the full team as he continues to recover from a quad injury. Leonard is traveling with the team on the trip in order to continue practicing but is still not cleared to return to game action. In the meantime, San Antonio is getting solid work at the small forward spot from Kyle Anderson and Rudy Gay, who combined to go 8-of-12 from the floor in Friday’s win.
After missing the first 19 games, Parker has played in the last three, averaging 16 minutes in those three wins.
The Spurs have won four consecutive games and 11 of their last 14.
One of those wins came against the Thunder on Nov. 18, when Oklahoma City led by 17 after one quarter before San Antonio steadily chipped away at the lead before winning 104-101.
That game played out in a familiar pattern for the Thunder (9-12) — the starting five got off to a hot start before things started to fall apart when Billy Donovan went to his bench.
Donovan has experimented with his rotation over the past few games, changing things up to try to find the right combination to stay afloat when Westbrook, George or Anthony has to head to the bench and trying to find a way to make their offense work more effectively together when they’re all on the floor.
“I think he’s been trying to integrate all three of our games into our offense,” George said. “And I think he’s doing a good job with it. To have three guys that (have) been used to offense running through them, he’s finding ways without our offense to try to keep all three of those elements within in.”
Though the Thunder are in ninth place in the Western Conference, Donovan said he’s not worried about figuring things out before it becomes too late — either for him or the Thunder.
“I look at the totality of our team offensively,” Donovan said. “I still think we can grow and get better from that.”
Part of that focus is on getting Anthony going offensively. He was held to a season-low nine points in Friday’s win over Minnesota.
“I knew he can generate a lot of his own when he gets to his spots on the floor, but certainly generating 3s for him, I think, is really helpful for our team with as elite a 3-point shooter as he is,” Donovan said of Anthony.
1. Westbrook went 0-of-8 from 3-point range on Friday after going 7-of-10 in a loss at Orlando on Wednesday.
2. Spurs SG Danny Green went scoreless on 0-of-7 shooting Friday — the second time in the last five games that he missed all of his field-goal attempts.
3. Oklahoma City F Jerami Grant is shooting 51.6 percent from the floor but failed to score in double figures in any of the last five games.
STATS AND RECORDS
|San Antonio||Oklahoma City|
|11/17/17||OKC 101||SA 104||104||44||44.2||101||41||43.8|