When the Oklahoma City Thunder travel to San Antonio on Sunday to play the Spurs, who have suddenly become more competitive, the Thunder will want to keep working toward the postseason.
After defeating the Spurs 110-96 in New Orleans on Saturday, the Thunder will travel to San Antonio for the second game of a road back-to-back. With a position of 12th in the Western Conference, Oklahoma City is still trying to get into the playoffs.
The Thunder are just 2 1/2 games out of sixth place, which guarantees them a spot in the postseason, and half a game out of 10th place, which guarantees them a spot in the play-in tournament.
In Oklahoma City’s victory over New Orleans, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 35 points, Josh Giddey added 19 points, and Jalen Williams scored 17.
After losing five games, Oklahoma City has won four of its last five games.
After a rousing 128-120 victory over Denver, which leads the West, on Friday, the Spurs, who are out of the playoff picture, will play the second game in a six-game homestand. Keldon Johnson scored 23 points for San Antonio, along with 20 points from Doug McDermott, 19 from Jeremy Sochan, and 14 each from Devin Vassell and Tre Jones.
Zach Collins scored 10 points for the Spurs before being kicked out in the middle of the third quarter, and Sandro Mamukelashvili, a new acquisition, scored all 11 of his points in the fourth quarter, including a devastating 3-pointer with 2:33 to play.
Although San Antonio has won three of its last five games, the team is still last in the Western Conference and could receive an early NBA draft pick.
The Spurs, who always fight to the end, looked like they wanted the game more than their opponents did for a night.
The Thunder won the first two games of the season series against San Antonio, both of which were played in Oklahoma City; however, they haven’t played the Spurs since beating them 130-114 two days after Christmas.