Chet Holmgren slams defensive efforts of Thunder following loss to Spurs

Feb 29, 2024; San Antonio, Texas, USA;  Oklahoma City Thunder forward Chet Holmgren (7) and San
Feb 29, 2024; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Chet Holmgren (7) and San / Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

All good things must eventually come to an end, and the OKC Thunder learned that the hard way Thursday night when they saw their five-game winning streak get snapped by the hands of the San Antonio Spurs.

Halting any possibility of a season sweep, Gregg Popovich's squad took care of business on their home floor in what was matchup number three of 2023-24, and, unsurprisingly, star big Victor Wembanyama paved the way in their 132-118 triumph, posting a phenomenal stat-line of 28 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 blocks, and 2 steals on 52.9 percent shooting from the floor.

Though the final score may suggest San Antonio had complete command on the night, in actuality, it seemed to be anyone's game to win late into the fourth, especially following OKC's triumphant 16-9 run during the final five minutes of the third period to cut their deficit to just two (98-96).

Unfortunately, these efforts went on to be followed up by ice-cold shooting from beyond the arc (went 1-for-9 in the fourth) and lackluster defensive efforts that saw the Thunder commit five personal fouls and allowed the Spurs to convert on a whopping 60 percent of their attempts from the floor, nearly half of which came from long-range where they shot 50.0 percent on 10 attempts.

Chet Holmgren slams defensive efforts following Thunder loss to Spurs

In the end, Mark Daigneault and company suffered their 18 loss on the year and, during his postgame presser, star big Chet Holmgren (23 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists) provided an honest and spot-on take assessing why they couldn't keep their third-quarter momentum going into the final period.

"I'd say [their] shot-making is a big part of it but what leads to that is us having to be better on the defensive end. Making certain shots tougher on them, taking certain things away. We've just got to be better."

Chet Holmgren

During the final five minutes alone, the Thunder allowed San Antonio to go on an 18-7 run, while seeing guys like Devin Vassell and Wembanyama, in particular, tear them apart, as they combined for 13 points during this particular stretch on 5-for-6 shooting.

With the season series now registering in at 2-1 in favor of Oklahoma City, they will have a chance to close things out on a positive note during their fourth and final matchup scheduled for April 10.