Thunder Can't Overcome a Tough Shooting First Quarter

Erik Gee

With one more game left to play before the All-Star break, the Oklahoma City Thunder is searching for ways to recapture the flow they had in late January. Wednesday, the Thunder spent the first 12 minutes of their game with the Spurs coming up empty on the offensive end. 

Oklahoma City was 5 of 21  from the floor scoring 14 points that lack output helped San Antonio to a 114-106 win. Billy Donovan says, "I thought offensively it was a hard night for us we just never really ya know got going like we have been.".."We've been so good offensively for a few games now." 

Behind Chris Paul's 10 second-quarter points (in nine minutes), The Thunder was able to cut the Spurs lead to 49-41 at the half. Dennis Schroder would tie things at 79 early in the fourth; then, the Spurs would salt things away.  San Antonio would go on a 16-5 run building a 10 point lead; that would stick for the rest of the game. 

Paul says, "We fought back, we always gonna do that, but we really didn't make shots tonight we didn't get those timely stops we usually get." One of those timely stops would have been nice with 10:04 left in the game when LaMarcus Aldridge hit a one-foot pull up after stealing the ball off a bad pass from Abdel Nader. The Spurs would go ahead 81-79 after Aldridge's bucket, and that's as close as the Thunder would be for the rest of the night. 

The Thunder finishes up this four-game homestand a disappointing 2-2. Losing to the Celtics is understandable. But, the struggles with three teams under .500 less so. Donovan was asked what he thought went wrong during these last four contests. 

"I really don't know. I think there's a build-up of effect."... "We had a little bit of a break coming out of January that four days. I think maybe from a rest standpoint it helps, but maybe from a rhythm standpoint, it maybe didn't help." Donovan says his team doesn't have a significant margin of error. 

"If you have a drop off in any particular area, whether it's offense or defense sometimes, it's very difficult to overcome that. " ..."We need to be better than we were today on both ends of the floor." 

The Thunder have a chance to get right on Thursday when they go to New Orleans to face the Pelicans. Tipoff if at 7 pm on Fox Sports Oklahoma.