The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for OKC (36-29), and ended San Antonio's nine-game winning streak.
Certainly, after the team dropped four-straight contests to sub.500 iterations this Thunder win came as an unexpected surprise. He was as bouncy and loud as ever at all the practices and shootarounds, and behind closed doors was resolute in his approach. "Just goes to show the character we have within the group".
In what was the 170th matchup between these teams, Sacramento rolled out to a 22-point lead in the first quarter. It was also his first triple-double against the Spurs.
Oscar Robertson is the only player with more triple-doubles in a season than Russell Westbrook. It's an eyebrow-raising stat that suggests. Boston thrashed them -at Oracle Arena no less- on Wednesday in their most recent game.
Enes and the boys: Enes Kanter might not be the most intimidating force for the Thunder. He had nothing but praise for Westbrook before Thursday's game.
It's not as cut and dried as it might seem. Westbrook has grappled all season long with the balance of doing too much while having to do everything, taking a suddenly flawed roster in the wake of Kevin Durant's departure and keeping it at playoff level. When Westbrook is playing, the Thunder outscore teams by 2.7 points per 100 possessions.
"It's astounding", Popovich said.
"Whenever you are mentioned with guys like that, it's always a blessing". Is there an opportunity for Russell?
The rest would go with 49-56 for the local team, which would maintain the tone in the second half. Against the Trail Blazers two nights ago, the Thunder were a defensive mess.
The Spurs finished with 33 assists while shooting 50 percent from the field.
"I think it had to do with his own physical state", Green said of Popovich, who coached the game sporting a bandage across the bridge of his nose and another on one ear.
Oklahoma City is 4-1 ATS in its last five games at home. "You just have to get out there and physically battle them".
Dougie McThunderBuckets chipped in 11 points in 22 minutes off the bench on a tidy 5-10 from the floor.
Thursday was Westbrook at the peak of his powers, using every tool in the belt to carve apart the Spurs. He's not ideal, and he often makes bad choices.
The Thunder needed the best of Westbrook against the Spurs, and he delivered. Kawhi Leonard leads the team in scoring with 26.3 ppg and 6 rpg, adding a team high 1.9 steals per game (fifth-best in the league). They have recently lost their franchise player in DeMarcus Cousins and are now fully focused on rebuilding for the future, acquiring young talents in exchange.