OKC Thunder win in San Antonio for first time since 2014 – grades

JANUARY 2: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the OKC Thunder flies past Bryn Forbes #11 of the San Antonio Spurs during second half . (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
JANUARY 2: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the OKC Thunder flies past Bryn Forbes #11 of the San Antonio Spurs during second half . (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
JANUARY 2: Steven Adams #12 of the OKC Thunder battles LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs for a rebound during second half . (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images) /

B. . G/F. Oklahoma City Thunder. TERRANCE FERGUSON

Entering the match DeMar DeRozan was on an absolute hot streak having scored between 21 and 29 points in each of his last five outings. Although it might seem like Terrance Ferguson failed to do his job with DeRozan scoring 30 it’s not accurate. Many times the Thunder forced the Spurs late into the shot clock and forced DD to make the shot. Where he was more successful was in limiting Bryn Forbes to three points – a kid who can light it up from the perimeter and has one of the sweetest perimeter shots in the NBA.

Would it be nice if we got more offensively Ferguson — of course. But when it’s been six years since the Thunder have won in San Antonio, I think we’ll take his defensive prowess to ensure the deal is sealed over him forcing his offense.

The box score is thin but the one stat which matters is the plus 14 point differential while he was on the floor, second only to SGA (+15).

B. . PF. Oklahoma City Thunder. DANILO GALLINARI

Danilo Gallinari held his own defensively helping out on LaMarcus Aldridge when Jakob Poltl was in the game and made sure Trey Lyles was a non factor.

As for Gallo’s offense, he’s still getting back in rhythm after missing 10 days and four games. His efficiency wasn’t on point (5 of 15 from the field and 3 of 10 from deep) but the rust will eventually correct itself as he gets back into the flow. He added five rebounds and two assists.

A-. . C. Oklahoma City Thunder. STEVEN ADAMS

With the prospect of facing LaMarcus Aldrige who has owned the Thunder this matchup was key. That might seem like an odd thing to say when Aldridge delivered a double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds and hit a season high four 3-pointers.

BUT …. consider his last game against OKC when he collected 39 points on 19 of 23 shooting and this outing can be put in perspective. He took just 13 shots (hit 7) and four of those were from deep which is where the Thunder encouraged him to shoot from. Given Aldridge’s history that’s a smart strategy – so you live with the four makes from deep as it’s definitely a better alternative than letting him get rolling from the mid-range

Adams did his thing on both sides of the floor coming one rebound short of a double-double with 14 points, nine rebounds (four offensive), three assists, and a block.

He’s also suddenly improved from the charity stripe where at one time he would’ve been a player Gregg Popovich would be fouling repeatedly to get an edge his shooting has improved so much that’s simply not an option anymore. Kudos to the Big Kiwi for working on that aspect of his game.