The San Antonio Spurs owned the best record in the Western Conference and were riding an 11-game winning streak as they traveled to the Chesapeake Energy Arena to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Two of the best teams in the NBA clashed in a thrilling encounter, and even though the Spurs fought hard they weren’t able to overcome the Thunder as they lost 94-88.
The Spurs were able to stop Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook for the most part of the game, but they couldn’t stop reserves Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb. Jackson matched a career-high 23 points whilst Lamb ended with 12 on a 5-of-7 shooting performance. The reserves really sparked the Thunder’s play, but they couldn’t have beaten the Spurs without a solid defensive performance.
The Spurs faced a tough test against the Thunder’s defense, and they couldn’t pass it. San Antonio only shot 39 percent from the field and an even worse 26 percent from beyond the arc. Much of the Spurs’ success this year has been due to the fact that they had been able to hit shots from everywhere on the court, and it was palpable that a good defense might be only way to stop them, as obvious as that sounds.
The loss means that the Spurs’ winning streak stopped at 11 games, but they shouldn’t worry too much about finding themselves on the losing end of a game for once. The Thunder are one of the toughest clubs in the league, and while nobody likes to lose, games like these are expected throughout the course of the season.
If anything, it means that the Spurs need to make adjustments in case they face the Thunder come postseason time. And it’s better to make them in the regular season than in a tight playoff series.