Spurs desperation wipes out OKC Thunder effort – player grades

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OKC Thunder

FEBRUARY 11: Chris Paul #3 of the OKC Thunder handles the ball during the game against the San Antonio Spurs (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)

The OKC Thunder got bitten by a poor start and a desperate Spurs team resulting in their second consecutive loss. Player grades offer the details.

Desperation is an emotion that teams can’t game plan for with x’s and o’s. It’s simply a matter of equaling the efforts of the opposing squad especially early and then playing to your system and identity. The OKC Thunder likely had that game plan in place but failed to deliver early and it resulted in a 106-114 loss to San Antonio.

The OKC Thunder knew the Spurs were in this headspace and presumably believed they would be ready to offset the early push. Instead, one of their worst habits reared its ugly head as the Thunder were flat to start the game and lost the opening quarter.

OKC didn’t just lose the quarter they allowed the Spurs to gain confidence via a 25-14 frame. And, in truth, the game was lost in that first quarter.

San Antonio Spurs
Oklahoma City Thunder

OKC narrowed the 11 point deficit to eight by winning the second quarter 27-24 and avoided their other bad frame (the third) with a strong 36-30 effort.

Despite the two-point edge the Spurs held and entering their favorite quarter the Thunder had used up so much energy getting back in the match they didn’t have enough in reserve and ultimately succumbed to the Spurs 114-106.

It was the second loss in a row for OKC something they haven’t experienced much of having won nine of 10 until these recent back-to-back losses.

DeMar DeRozan was out for the second game in a row as he deals with back spasms. However, the rest of the Spurs were determined to break through on the rodeo trip having gone 0-4.

At the top of the list was Thunder killer LaMarcus Aldridge who once again delivered a standout performance and proved impossible for OKC or Steven Adams to control (more on that below).

The trio of Dejounte Murray (25 points), Patty Mills (20 points), and Derrick White (17 points) were key in the victory.

With that, let’s move on to player grades.

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