Oklahoma City Thunder (3-4) vs. Spurs (4-3)
When, where: Thursday, 7:30 p.m., AT&T Center
All-time series record: Spurs lead 94-76
Last season: Spurs won 2-1
Last meeting: Spurs 116, Thunder 102, March 2, AT&T Center
Thunder's' last game: Beat Orlando Magic 102-94, Tuesday, OKC
Spurs' last game: Lost to Hawks 108-100, Tuesday, Atlanta
Thunder's injury/inactive report: Forward Andre Roberson (return to play management, left knee), out.
Spurs' injury/inactive report: Forward Drew Eubanks (G League), out; guard/forward Keldon Johnson (G League), out; forward Luka Samanic (G League), out; guard Quindarry Weatherspoon (G League), out; guard Derrick White (contusion, right glute), questionable.
Notable: After playing OKC, the Spurs continue their three-game homestand Sunday with a 4 p.m.game against the Boston Celtics. The Silver and Black meet the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday at 7:30., and will retire Tony Parker's jersey number in a ceremony after the game.
When Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says his team is a work in progress, he isn't falling back on a cliche.
The Silver and Black's up-and-down play in their first seven games of the season bears out Popovich's assessment. After opening the season with three wins at home, the Spurs (4-3) lost to the Los Angeles Clippers and beat Golden State in a road back-to-back.
The Spurs lost their first home game of the season Sunday against the Lakers, and fell to the Hawks in Atlanta on Tuesday.
San Antonio led Atlanta by 10 late in the third quarter and was up by eight heading into the final period. But the Hawks, led by mercurial guard Trae Young, outscored the visitors 38-22 in the fourth quarter and won 108-100.
"We are just trying to find a rhythm," Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan said. "We haven’t shot it well, but it’s just all about us getting in a rhythm and understanding that we have to rely on our defense, then the offense will come around.”
Young, who finished with a double-double, scored 28 of his 29 points in the second half and had 16 points in the fourth period. Young also finished the game with 13 assists. He left the second quarter of a loss to Miami last Tuesday with a sprained right ankle, and missed the rematch against the Heat two nights later.
Young started off slowly against the Spurs, but he caught fire in the fourth quarter.
"It’s not over until it’s over," DeRozan said. "A guy like that, that shoots the amount of times he shoots, he is not going to let up just because he missed a couple of shots in the first half. We didn’t get him under control, he led his team to victory, and we have to look at what we didn’t do and be better at it.”
Popovich was asked about the challenge of trying to contain Young.
“It’s very difficult," Popovich said. "It doesn’t matter what day it is. He’s tough every night. If he’s playing, he’s tough to guard. He did a great job. He was cold the first half, and probably getting some rust off a little bit, I would imagine, but the second half he was great. He played confidently, whether he was driving it for little runners, or shooting the three. He did a great job.”
Young, who went 5 of 10 from beyond the arc for the game, scored his 29 points on 10-of-23 shooting.
The Spurs hit just 8 of 33 three-pointers and missed seven free throws.
DeRozan led the Silver and Black's scoring with 22 points, and Trey Lyles finished with a game-high 12 rebounds.
Bryn Forbes (17), Patty Mills (16) and LaMarcus Aldridge (14) rounded out San Antonio's double-figure scoring. Starting point guard Dejounte Murray finished with only three points after going 1 of 7 from the field.
The Spurs shot poorly, making only 38 of 91 field-goal attempts (41 percent). Atlanta shot 47.8 percent (43-90) overall and was 11 of 30 from the three-point line.
The Silver and Black will play an Oklahoma City team that no longer has Russell Westbrook and Paul George. Both All-Stars went to other teams in blockbuster deals this summer – Westbrook to the Houston Rockets and George to the Clippers.
The two guards OKC got in return, nine-time All-Star Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, aren't too shabby themselves. Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, combined for 44 points in the Thunder's 102-94 victory against Orlando on Tuesday.