Spurs 93-Thunder 85: Thunder blow yet another game in the fourth quarter


The Oklahoma City Thunder have blown up another game they were leading going into the final quarter, thanks to a poor final quarter yet again, this time to the Spurs at the AT&T Center, San Antonio. This is the 6th time they have lost while going into the final quarter with a lead in the past 10 games. They have now lost 2 games back to back and are 44-22 in the 3rd place of the Western Conference, with the Clippers right behind them. The Clippers only trail the Thunder by a game now. The Spurs meanwhile have recorded their 41st(!) straight game at home and 32nd this season. It’s been a year since they last lost a game at home They are now 56-10 and just 3 games behind the runaway leaders Warriors. The game also saw some extraordinary poor shooting from either teams as the Spurs shot only 40% while the Thunder shot a 38%. They also shot a combined 7-42 from behind the three point arc.

Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge were at it once again for the Spurs as they were excellent at both the ends of the game. Either of them have been the top scorers for their team for the pas 9 games. Leonard recorded 26 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and a block. Aldridge ended the game with 24 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and a block. Tim Duncan had 11 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. David West added an important 8 points of the bench along with 7 rebounds. Patty Mills had 4 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists off the bench.

Kevin Durant was excellent yet again in a disheartening loss for the Thunder as he ended the game with 28 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, a steal and a block. Russell Westbrook meanwhile had a better game by his playmaking standards as he recorded 19 points. 7 assists, 2 steals and 6 rebounds. Enes Kanter posted a double double of 11 points and 17 rebounds off the bench. Steven Adams added 10 points and 5 rebounds. Serge Ibaka recorded 7 points, 12 rebounds and 3 steals.

The first quarter was a very close affair and the Spurs just managed to edge it 25-22 as neither team was able to establish a proper tempo. The Spurs started off the second strongly to make a 6-2 run and extend their lead to 7 early on. From then on, it was all Thunder as they dominated the Spurs. The tied up the game at 39-39 with 3 minutes to go in the quarter with a 15-8 run. They carried on this momentum and made another 7-2 run to take the quarter 27-20 and a 4 point lead going into the second half. The Thunder looked like pulling away in the third as they made yet another 9-2 run to establish a 7 point lead with 5 minutes to go. But the Spurs answered strongly in the final stages of the quarter as they made a 9-4 run to take the quarter 21-19 and cut down the lead to 2. The teams went into the final quarter with Thunder leading 68-66. This was only the 4th out of 32 games when Spurs went into the final quarter trailing at home. And they did not trail for long. Thunder opened the quarter with a 4-0 run and that was all that went their way this quarter. The Spurs tied up the game at 74-74 with an 8-2 run within a minute. David West scored 6 vital points of these 8. Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard drained vital and consecutive 3s with the game at 76-76 to take the lead at 82-76. Leonard scored vital 9 points in this quarter, including a highlight cross over on Durant to score a 16 footer. The Spurs sealed the game with a 5-0 run with the game at 85-81 to make it 90-81 with 30 seconds left on the clock. They closed out the game 93-85 for their 41st straight win at home.

Next up for the Thunder are the Trail Blazers at home on Monday. They need to learn how to close out the games in the fourth quarter if they are to have any kind of chance at making a deep run in the playoffs. The Spurs meanwhile will host the Clippers on Tuesday.