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Thunder Defensive Shortcomings Exposed in Loss to Spurs

From start to finish The Thunder's defensive woes came through in Spurs loss.
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From start to finish, it just wasn’t Oklahoma City’s night.

With 7:49 left in the first quarter Shai Gilgeous-Alexander got on the scoresheet with a dunk to put OKC up 9-7 — the bad news for him and OKC (14-29) is this was the last time they held a lead as the Spurs (16-28) shooting carried it to a 118-96 win in San Antonio.

The Thunder struggled all night containing the Spurs’ shooters. OKC’s defense found it difficult to keep up throughout the game allowing the Spurs to knock down 15 3-pointers.

The Spurs scored early and often as it headed into half up 18 points, with that lead ballooning to 34 during the second-half.

Dejounte Murray led the way for San Antonio with a 23-point triple-double. Doug McDermott also starred for the Spurs — scoring 20 points, including six 3-points of his own.

OKC shot 38.8% from the field and 25.8% from three as a team. That paired with significant defensive struggles saw the Thunder out of this one early.

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The lone bright spot for OKC was the play of Aaron Wiggins. He finished the night with 19 points and eight rebounds while shooting an efficient 8-for-11 from the field.

Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC’s usual leader on offense, struggled to find his footing all night long. He managed just 5-for-21 from the field along with a team-low -25 plus/minus as he was responsible for multiple open looks for Spurs’ shooters.

With the Thunder down big early, Mamadi Diakite saw an extended run for the first time since signing, playing 19 minutes. He managed to put up three rebounds and a season-high eight points.

Lu Dort and Josh Giddey both had their fair share of offensive struggles as well — shooting a combined 8-for-29.

The Thunder are back in action Friday in Charlotte against the Hornets as it continues this road trip. 

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