Notebook: Thunder 107, Spurs 93



Posted Dec 17, 2012 11:56 PM

Randy Renner, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Oklahoma City Thunder used a big third quarter and an even bigger effort from Serge Ibaka to dispose of the San Antonio Spurs 107-93 inside a roaring Chesapeake Energy Arena. Ibaka led the Thunder with 25 points (tying his career-high) and pulled down 17 rebounds (three short of a career-high). Point guard Russell Westbrook added 22 points and nine assists and Thunder sixth man Kevin Martin struck for 20 on 7-for-10 shooting. Kevin Durant was also in double figures for OKC with 19 points.

The Spurs (19-7) had four players in double figures but none of San Antonio's starters played in the fourth quarter after Oklahoma City (20-4) had built an 18-point lead. Tony Parker and rookie Nando De Colo led the Spurs with 14 points. Parker also handed out seven assists and De Colo dished six. Tim Duncan added 12 points and Tiago Splitter dropped in 10.

The Spurs were playing the front end of a back-to-back and their 16th road game of the season. They looked a little ragged in the third quarter so Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich pulled the plug early. The Spurs backups still managed to whittle the 18-point OKC lead down to nine, even with the Thunder starters in there. The Thunder quickly pushed the margin back to 15 to finish things off.

QUOTABLE: "Our standards are high and their standards are high, we wanted to play well tonight and I thought we did.

-- Thunder head coach Scott Brooks

THE STAT: In the third quarter the Thunder outscored the Spurs 16-4 in the paint and 7-2 on the fast break while blocking five shots and stealing the ball four times. OKC limited the Spurs to just 33.3 percent shooting in the quarter.

TURNING POINT: An 11-0 Thunder run sparked a big third quarter that saw Oklahoma City outscore San Antonio 29-16 and force six turnovers providing the cushion Oklahoma City needed to get the lead well into double digits and keep it there.

QUOTABLE II: "Just mistakes on our part, obviously we give them credit they played well. Guys like Serge (Ibaka) continue to attack us and make plays. But all-in-all I thought we got a little stagnant on the offensive end."

-- Duncan

HOT: The Thunder started the game 11-for-16 (68.8 percent)... Ibaka hit his first six shots and finished the first half 7-for-8 (16 points) ... Splitter was 5-for-6 (10 points) in the first half ... The Spurs were 12-for-19 (63.2 percent) in the paint in the first half.


NOT: Thabo Sefolosha was 0-for-4 in the first half and finished 1-for-8 (two points). Oklahoma City shot just 38.5 percent in the third quarter and 39.1 percent in the second half.

INSIDE THE ARENA: The cast of "A Christmas Carol," playing down the street at Oklahoma City's Civic Center Music Hall, provided the halftime entertainment for the 83rd straight sellout at Chesapeake Energy Arena singing a medley of songs from the hit musical. Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs sat courtside.

GOOD MOVE: The Thunder came out with tremendous defensive intensity in the third quarter holding both Parker and Duncan to 2-for-5 shooting and Gary Neal to just 1-for-4. The Thunder got deflections on several possessions leading to six turnovers in the third quarter. The Spurs also managed just two assists in the third quarter.

QUOTABLE III: "We had 15 assists in the first half and two in the third quarter and we stopped scoring. You've got to keep scoring and you need pace to do that because in the half court they're just too long and too athletic. They did a great job defensively and we helped them by not moving the basketball."

-- Popovich

BAD MOVE: The Spurs focused their defense on Durant, making him see a lot of bodies and Stephen Jackson was in his grill most of the time he was in there limiting Durant to just three shots in the first 21 minutes of the game. While that strategy worked against Durant, it left Martin wide open on the perimeter and he knocked down five of his first six shots and Ibaka had open lanes inside and he took advantage, hitting his first seven attempts.

NOTABLE: The Thunder have now won 11 straight games, the longest in the Oklahoma City era and tying the third longest winning streak in franchise history. When the team was still in Seattle, the SuperSonics won 11 straight in the 1996-97 season.

UP NEXT: For the Spurs, Tuesday @ Denver, Friday vs. New Orleans, Sunday vs. Dallas. For the Thunder, Wednesday @ Atlanta, Thursday @ Minnesota, Christmas Day @ Miami.