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San Antonio had a three-game winning streak snapped on Sunday after losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves 96-88. San Antonio, following the loss, dropped to second place in the Southwest Division at 5-5 and is a half-game behind first-place Dallas. San Antonio played without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan, whose absence was due to personal reasons. It is unknown at this point whether DeRozan will play on Tuesday.
Oklahoma City started its regular season losing four of its first six, but Oklahoma City has bounced back with three consecutive victories with its most recent a 129-116 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was the leading scorer for Oklahoma City in the victory with 31 points. In a bunched-up Northwest division, Oklahoma City is tied with Portland in second place just a half-game behind Utah and a half-game in front of 4th place Denver.
LaMarcus Aldridge returning to form
LaMarcus Aldridge has played just 7 of San Antonio’s first 10 games of the season due to an injury, but the Spurs center is returning to form. Aldridge has increased his scoring average to 15.4 points per game and is now averaging 5.1 rebounds. Last season Aldridge was the second leading scorer and leading rebounder for the Spurs. Through 10 games of the regular season. DeMar DeRozan is leading San Antonio in scoring with an average of 21.2 points per game and dishes the ball off the most with an average of 7.0 assists per game.
San Antonio is averaging 36.1 defensive rebounds and 9.3 offensive rebounds led by Keldon Johnson with an average of 7.4 rebounds per game. The Spurs are averaging 6.6 steals led by Dejounte Murray with an average of 1.2 per game and the defense is blocking an average of 5.1 shots per game led by Rudy Gay with an average of 1.0 blocks per game. San Antonio is scoring an average of 111.1 points per game while allowing an average of 113.1 points per game.
Injury Report: Drew Eubanks is questionable for Tuesday for San Antonio, DeMar DeRozan missed San Antonio’s most recent game but his status is unknown due to personal reasons, Quinndary Weatherspoon is out indefinitely and Derek White is due back in late February from a toe fracture.
Oklahoma City Ninth in Points Allowed
Oklahoma City is allowing an average of 108.9 points per game which is ninth in the NBA. Oklahoma City is averaging 37.7 defensive rebounds, 7.0 steals and 5.1 block shots per game. Hamidou Diallo is the leader in steals with an average of 1.2 per game and Darius Bazley is the king of swat with an average of 1.2 blocks per game.
Oklahoma City’s offense could use a bit of improvement as the Thunder are scoring an average of just 104.9 points per game, while shooting an average of 45.1% overall and 33.5% from long distance. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the leading scorer for Oklahoma City with an average of 21.0 points per game and is hitting 47.9% of his shots overall and 35.3% from downtown. Clearing the glass the best is Bazley with an average of 8.3 rebounds per game while the dish-king is Gilgeous-Alexander with an average of 6.8 assists per game. Oklahoma City’s assist-to-turnover ratio is 1.6
Oklahoma City has bounced back from a poor start of 2-4 to win each of its last three games. The Thunder are playing strong defense and have the 9th best points allowed average in the NBA at 108.9 points per game. On offense, the Thunder are starting to pick up the pace behind point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luguentz Dort, Al Horford and Hamidou Diallo. The offense by committee approach is being used as Oklahoma City has seven players averaging between 21.0 and 10.3 points per game. The Thunder has covered the spread in four of its last five overall while San Antonio has failed to cover the spread in each of his last seven versus a team from the southwest Division
Oklahoma City’s defense has played well through the first nine games of the regular season and its offense continues to improve therefore the total will finish under. The total has finished under in 8 of Oklahoma City’s last 12. Oklahoma City’s defense is holding opponents to just 45.6% shooting and just 34.4% shooting from beyond the three-point arc resulting in a points per game of just 108.9 for opponents.