OKLAHOMA CITY — San Antonio came into its matchup with Oklahoma City trying to prove a couple of things. First, that the Thunder didn’t have the Spurs’ number, and that their 19-game winning streak was for real.
Unfortunately for the Spurs, they were unable to do either as they fell to the Thunder 106-94 Thursday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The win not only ended the streak, it also gave the Thunder a 4-0 season sweep over San Antonio. Just as important, Oklahoma City now trails San Antonio by three games in the in the Western Conference standings with eight games left in the regular season.
“They are a hell of a basketball team,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of the Thunder.
It was a tight game until the fourth quarter. But Oklahoma City (55-19) had too much energy and San Antonio (59-17) was unable to keep pace on either end.
With 5:25 left in the game, Russell Westbrook closed out the competitive portion of the game when he came up with a steal that led to an uncontested reverse, windmill dunk. It gave Oklahoma City a 12-point advantage and forced Popovich to call a timeout.
“It’s good,” Westbrook said. “I haven’t had a dunk for the Thunder fans in a while, so I thought I would do a little something tonight. It was good to get loud and have some fun.”
When the Spurs came back on the court, the starters were on the bench as the Spurs seemingly gave in to the Thunder pressure.
Patty Mills paced the Spurs with 21 points off the bench. Tim Duncan added 17 points and eight rebounds. Kawhi Leonard scored 17. Tony Parker was held to six points and three assists in the loss.
“Our mindset at the moment is taking all these games that we get and treat them like a playoff,” Mills said. “And tonight was a great opportunity to get that. We haven’t been in this position before, but this is great practice for us. Let’s make the most of it.”