Oklahoma City Thunder (25-15) vs. Spurs (24-18)
When, where: Thursday, 8:30 p.m., AT&T Center
Last season: Tied 2-2
All-time series record: Spurs lead 92-75
Season series: First meeting
Last meeting: Spurs 103, Thunder 99, March 29, 2018, AT&T Center
Thunder's last game: Lost to Minnesota Timberwolves 119-117, Tuesday, OKC
Spurs' last game: Lost to Grizzlies 96-86, Wednesday, Memphis
Thunder's last 10 games/streak: 5-5, lost two
Spurs' last 10 games/streak: 7-3, lost one
Thunder's injury/inactive report: Guard Alex Abrines (personal), out; forward Nerlens Noel (head), out; guard Andre Roberson (knee), out.
Spurs' injury/inactive report: Forward Rudy Gay (sprained left wrist), day-to-day; Chimezie Metu (G League assignment), out; forward Ben Moore (G League assignment); Dejounte Murray (torn right anterior cruciate ligament), out; Lonnie Walker IV (G League assignment), out.
Notable: The Spurs and Thunder will play each other twice in three nights. They square off again Saturday night in OKC . . . The Silver and Black's next home game after Thursday night will be against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday. The game will mark former Spurs point guard Tony Parker's first appearance at the AT&T Center since he signed with Charlotte as an unrestricted free agent in July . . . Spurs guard Bryn Forbes has made a career-high 90 three-pointers in 42 games. He had 89 in 80 games last season and 17 in 36 games as a rookie in 2016-17 . . . Forbes started every game in the first half of the season for the Spurs. Only two other undrafted Spurs have started the first 41 games of any season in franchise history: Bruce Bowen and Avery Johnson . . . The Spurs are the only NBA team with an all-time winning record against every team in the league.
It’s back to the drawing board for the Spurs.
After winning five straight, the Silver and Black reverted to some old habits that cost them in a 96-86 loss to the Grizzlies on Wednesday night in Memphis.
The Spurs lead the NBA in the fewest turnovers per game, but they coughed up 15 against the Grizzlies and shot only 36 percent. It was a losing combination for San Antonio, which was held to a season low in points.
Center Marc Gasol had 26 points and 14 rebounds for Memphis, which had lost six in a row, including a 108-88 shellacking last Saturday in San Antonio.
Gasol, the younger brother of Spurs center Pau Gasol, hit 9 of 16 shots, including 3 of 5 from the three-point line. Marc scored only six points on 2-of-9 shooting in the 20-point loss to the Spurs.
The Silver and Black got off to a poor start offensively and fell behind by double digits in the second quarter. They never recovered. Down 42-31 at the break, the Spurs matched their season low in points for a half.
“I think both teams were pretty sloppy in the first half,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “Neither team played very well in the first half, but I thought they (Grizzlies) picked it up in the second half. Executed pretty well, played pretty physically, and did a good job in the second half.”
The Silver and Black (24-18) get back at it Thursday night, hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder (25-15) in a nationally televised game that won’t start until 8:30. The game will be the first of two in three nights between the Spurs and Thunder, who meet again Saturday night in OKC.
The Thunder have lost two straight, but they still are third in the Western Conference standings, trailing first-place Denver by only 2½ games. OKC is coming off a 119-117 home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.
Led by dynamic point guard Russell Westbrook and forward/guard Paul George, the Thunder have hovered near the top of the bunched-up West standings throughout the first half of the season.
Westbrook is averaging a triple-double with 21.2 points, 10.8 rebounds and 10.3 assists. He also is averaging 2.5 steals a game. George leads OKC in scoring with a 26.8 average.
Thunder guard Andre Roberson, a Wagner High School graduate, remains sidelined with a knee injury. Roberson has not played in a game since rupturing his left patellar tendon last January.
While the Spurs held Memphis under 100 points, their offense sputtered badly. They shot 36.1 percent overall (30-83) and were better from beyond the arc, nailing 11 of 27 attempts for 40.7 percent. But the long-range shooting wasn’t enough to offset the turnovers and overall poor shooting.
All-NBA guard DeMar DeRozan, who leads San Antonio in scoring and assists, struggled badly, finishing with only nine points on 4-of-15 shooting and committed four turnovers. It was only the second time this season DeRozan scored less than 10 points.
Marco Belinelli and Bryn Forbes scored 14 points each to lead San Antonio. LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills finished with 13 points apiece. Belinelli, Forbes and Mills each knocked down three three-pointers.
Fast-improving point guard Derrick White had a rough night, playing only 15 minutes after getting in foul trouble early. White, who finished with five fouls, scored 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting and was 1 of 2 from long distance.
“He’s done a great job,” Popovich said of White. “He had a tough night tonight but, overall, he’s been a real savior for us.”
White had been on a tear in the Spurs’ previous six games, averaging 16.5 points while shooting 70.6 percent (36-51). White, who has scored in double figures in seven consecutive games, averaged 20 points and shot 82.8 percent (24-29) in a three-game stretch last week.
The Spurs’ next home game after Thursday night will be Monday, when they host the Charlotte Hornets. The game will mark former San Antonio point guard Tony Parker’s first appearance at the AT&T Center since he signed with Charlotte last July as an unrestricted free agent.