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Old 11-14-10, 11:40 AM
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Spurs-Thunder Preview / Game Thread

Spurs-Thunder Preview
  • While the Spurs have won three consecutive games against the Thunder, two of the victories came by less than four points.

By NOEY KUPCHAN
STATS Writer
(AP) -- The Oklahoma City Thunder are doing just enough to win while getting off to their best start since relocating from Seattle. Things aren't about to get any easier with the San Antonio Spurs coming to town.

Oklahoma City will look for its third straight win overall while avoiding its fourth consecutive loss to the Spurs on Sunday night.

The Thunder's last four wins have come by a total of 10 points, and they're being outscored by an average of 3.0 points per game this season. Oklahoma City (5-3) joins Golden State as the only teams in the league with winning records who are being outscored by their opponents, and Kevin Durant knows where improvement needs to begin.

"I think it's going to start to come around for us on the defensive end," said Durant, who scored 34 in Friday's 110-108 win over Portland. "We always seem to play one half of good defense. I think if we continue to keep working, we're going to start to put two halves together."

Oklahoma City has allowed 55.8 points in the first half compared to 47.9 in the second. The Thunder held the Trail Blazers to 43 over the last two quarters.

Durant leads the league in scoring with 28.9 points per contest, and has averaged 27.7 against the Spurs over his career. He put up 45 against them - two short of his career-high - in the Thunder's 99-96 loss the last time these teams met March 22.

Coming off a career-high 36-point effort Friday, Russell Westbrook is second on the club behind Durant with an average of 24.3 points this season, but has managed 13.6 in eight games against San Antonio.

Opponents are shooting 41.3 percent from beyond the arc against the Thunder in 2010-11, and Oklahoma City will likely need to clamp down on San Antonio, which is connecting on an NBA-best 42.7 percent of its 3-point attempts.

The Spurs connected on 8 of 18 from long distance as they won their sixth straight, 116-93 over Philadelphia on Saturday.

San Antonio (7-1) is off to its best start since 2007-08, however, it has defeated teams with a combined 16-38 record, and is looking forward to a real test.

"It was good especially considering that we play (Sunday) at a tough arena against a very athletic young team," said Manu Ginobili, who is 11 for 21 from 3-point range over his previous three games.

Tim Duncan, who scored six points Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers, put up seven versus the 76ers. That marked the third time in a 14-year career that he's been held to single digits in consecutive games.

The 12-time All Star and two-time MVP may bounce back against the Thunder, though, as he has averaged 21.5 points against the franchise.

Oklahoma City's Jeff Green, who has scored a career-high 19.4 points this season, was unavailable for the third consecutive game Friday due to a sprained left ankle. His status for Sunday remains uncertain.
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Old 11-14-10, 12:49 PM
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NBA.com - Referee Assignments
Nov. 14, 2010
San Antonio @ Oklahoma City--Derrick Stafford; Nick Buchert; David Jones
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Old 11-14-10, 01:29 PM
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VAMOS SPURS!
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Old 11-14-10, 08:24 PM
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Wow never thought this lineup would be on the floor at the same tome, Jefferson, Neal, Parker, Hill, and Ginobili
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Old 11-14-10, 08:44 PM
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And we went even smaller with Neal
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With 26 points on 4 of 4 shots from distance in only 20 minutes of PT. Efficient eviceration.
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Old 11-14-10, 08:45 PM
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I didn't get to see the game...ummm How did Bonner do?
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Old 11-14-10, 08:48 PM
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Bonner was the difference: 7-7 from the arc.
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Old 11-14-10, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacoma View Post
Wow never thought this lineup would be on the floor at the same tome, Jefferson, Neal, Parker, Hill, and Ginobili
Crazy right... Nice way to close it out though, just trade baskets until the clock expires instead of trying to stop them.
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Old 11-14-10, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
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Bonner was the difference: 7-7 from the arc.
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Old 11-14-10, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billsmith3503 View Post
Crazy right... Nice way to close it out though, just trade baskets until the clock expires instead of trying to stop them.
The refs were pretty whistle crazy though.
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Old 11-14-10, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
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The refs were pretty whistle crazy though.
Tiago got wiped.... Guess he wasn't the right guy to use on OKC anyway, sure seems like we had waves to throw at them. 3 point shooting makes everything easy
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Old 11-14-10, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billsmith3503 View Post
Tiago got wiped.... Guess he wasn't the right guy to use on OKC anyway, sure seems like we had waves to throw at them. 3 point shooting makes everything easy
Spurs benefited from it too, but some of it was just way to ticky tack. I think Tiago would have had an OK game, but with a guy like Ibaka, it's tough for any Spurs to succeed. McDyess fits the best against the crew when he's in there.
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Old 11-14-10, 10:18 PM
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You know who's happiest about this win (Bonner's performance notwithstanding)?

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