The Oklahoma City Thunder will carry a three-game winning streak into play on Wednesday when they travel to San Antonio to square off against Victor Wembanyama and the Spurs in a Western Conference battle.
The Thunder head to the Alamo City for the second of a home-road back-to-back that began with a 111-109 win over struggling Portland on Tuesday. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hit a technical free throw with 16 seconds left to tie the game before Jalen Williams canned the winning jumper with 2.8 seconds remaining. Gilgeous-Alexander then stole the inbounds pass to keep Portland from getting off a shot to tie or win the game.
Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 33 points and 10 assists. Williams added 19 points, Aaron Wiggins had 13 and Chet Holmgren took 10 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which has won its past three games by a total of 12 points and captured seven of its past nine outings.
The last time Portland and Oklahoma City played, the Thunder posted a 62-point win on Jan. 11 that was the largest margin-wise in franchise history. On Tuesday, Oklahoma City trailed by eight points at halftime but held the Trail Blazers to just 43 points over the final two periods.
It’s the first game in a seven-game homestand for the Spurs in advance of their annual Rodeo Road trip that takes up most of the month of February.
San Antonio heads home after a 133-123 loss at Philadelphia on Monday in the first meeting between reigning league MVP Joel Embiid and rookie phenom Wembanyama. Embiid got the better of the matchup, scoring a franchise-record 70 points and grabbing a career-best 18 rebounds while the 20-year-old No. 1 draft pick from France had 33 points for the Spurs.
The Spurs got to within nine points on a bucket by Devin Vassell with 2:37 to play but had no answer in the last two minutes.
Vassell scored 22 points for San Antonio, which lost for the fifth time in its past six games. Jeremy Sochan hit for 14, Doug McDermott had 13 and Julian Champagnie and Tre Jones scored 12 each.
The Spurs’ loss came on the heels of a 131-127 win at Washington on Saturday. San Antonio’s last three victories – on the road against Detroit and Washington and at home vs. Charlotte – have come against teams that have fewer total wins (21) than Philadelphia (29).
The Thunder walloped San Antonio in the teams’ only meeting so far this season, a 123-87 knockout in Oklahoma City on Nov. 14.