(Sports Network) - The NBA's only two 19-win teams get the week off to a great
start Monday night when the San Antonio Spurs head to Chesapeake Energy Arena
to face the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Thunder are the hottest team in the NBA, riding a 10-game winning streak
into Monday night. That is the longest win streak for the Thunder in the
Oklahoma City era and a victory on Monday would give the franchise its longest
run of wins since November of 1996.
Oklahoma City owns the best record in the league and has been dominant
offensively. The Thunder are first in the NBA in points per game, free-throw
percentage, 3-point shooting percentage and point differential. They are
second in field-goal percentage.
The Thunder, who will conclude a five-game homestand Monday night, have been
playing defense as well. They rank 11th in opponents' scoring and third in
opponents' field-goal percentage. During this recent run of dominance,
Oklahoma City has allowed 100 points or more four times.
"They all have to be committed to it," head coach Scott Brooks said. "I think
everybody competes on the defensive end. That's what makes us a good defensive
The Thunder, whose last win came Friday night over the Sacramento Kings, will
need to play great defense in this showdown to become the first 20-win team.
The Spurs are the second-best offensive team in the NBA.
San Antonio halted a two-game losing streak on Saturday night with a home
victory over the Boston Celtics, 103-88. After games of 132 and 134 points
before the mini-slide, the Spurs got things clicking again on the offensive
side against Boston.
"I thought we really kept our composure," said head coach Gregg Popovich. "I
thought after a long road trip it was nice to see them come out that way. It's
usually tough after a trip, that first game at home. We had a lot of guy play
The Spurs were away from home for four games and came back with a balanced
effort. Tony Parker was huge in the fourth quarter and netted 20 points to go
with eight assists.
Gary Neal added 20, Tiago Splitter had 16 and Danny Green chipped in 12. Tim
Duncan was held to five points, but grabbed 12 boards and had two blocks.
Manu Ginobili left with 2:42 to go in the first quarter when he bruised his
left quad after a collision with Celtics' forward Chris Wilcox. Ginobili's
availability for Monday night is unknown.
If Monday's contest is anything like the first time these two titans battled
this season, fans are in for a treat. The Spurs bested the Thunder 86-84 in
San Antonio on Nov. 1.
It was the Spurs' second game of the season and the first for the Thunder and
Parker swished a jumper as the clock expired to give the Spurs the hard-fought
The Spurs have owned the Thunder of late with a 9-1 mark in the last 10
meetings. San Antonio has won five of its last six in Oklahoma City.
The Sports Network