OKC Thunder: 3 takeaways highlight Thunder comeback against Spurs

Isaiah Roby. OKC Thunder. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
Isaiah Roby. OKC Thunder. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports /
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The OKC Thunder took the season series against the Spurs Thursday night as the Thunder battled behind from a back and forth affair as the contest featured 11 lead changes by the 4th quarter as the first half of the regular season comes to a halt before All-Star weekend.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 2,000 points in just 100 games against the Spurs during his most recent outing, but that wasn’t the most impressive feat the young phenom showed during the 107-102 victory. More on this development later in the article.

This game was certainly a tale of two halves as OKC came out red hot in the first quarter. The Thunder shot 6 of 12 from 3-point land and scored the rest of their points in the paint. OKC was overly aggressive in attacking the rim against Popovich and CO. as the Thunder amassed 50 points in the paint by the end of the match.

The OKC Thunder went cold in the second quarter, but the turnovers were a significant discrepancy in the first half. OKC had a total of nine forced errors that allowed the Spurs 13 points. The OKC Thunder looked extraordinarily exhausted, and it seemed as if this game was heading towards a blowout.

Luckily the Thunder battled back in the second half and beat the Spurs at their own game. They were forcing their hand with stingy defense and playing a cohesive brand of basketball.

Five players scored in double-digits, which is too telling for a rather short-handed club. The OKC Thunder kept its proverbial foot on the gas and clawed its way to a victory.

Takeaways provide more insight into the victory.

OKC Thunder takeaway No.1) Defense can be the best form of offense

The Thunder struggled to find energy towards the end of the first half, but this team continues to show resiliency as OKC found themselves coughing the ball up during this timeframe. Nonetheless, the Thunder finished the game with 26 points off of 19 Spurs turnovers.

The defensive play is a significant development for OKC as the 3-point shot was not dropping in the second half, and OKC had just a few contributors on offense as the game progressed.

The Spurs are not a team prone to turning the ball over as this was the most careless San Antonio had been with the ball since January 27th of this year.

Below are a few defensive possessions where OKC shined on the defensive end.

Hopefully, OKC can keep this type of energy up as it has become somewhat of a staple for Mark Daigneault’s group the first half of the regular season.

There have been many contests where the squad has been short-handed, so having the ability to buckle down on the floor’s defensive end will prove dividends when the ball movement is stagnant.

Look for OKC to build upon this momentum through the second half as this squad is genuinely become a unit defensively.