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Vitals: Spurs at Thunder

Vitals: Spurs at Thunder Vitals: Spurs at Thunder

Originally Published: Jan 13, 2010 1:46 PM CDT

Dave Carty
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

San Antonio Spurs (22-13) at Oklahoma City Thunder (21-16)
Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 7:00 p.m. CST.
Ford Center, Oklahoma City
Game 38 of 82

Anticipated Starting Lineups

San Antonio (Away)
Oklahoma City (Home)
PG
Tony Parker
16.7 PPG, 5.8 APG
Russell Westbrook
16.3 PPG, 7.2 APG
SG
Keith Bogans
5.0 PPG, 2.9 RPG
Thabo Sefolosha
6.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG
SF
Richard Jefferson
13.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG
Kevin Durant
28.8 PPG, 7.0 RPG
PF
Tim Duncan
20.2 PPG, 10.4 RPG
Jeff Green
14.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG
C
DeJuan Blair
6.5 PPG, 5.4 RPG
Nenad Krstic
8.3 PPG, 5.1 RPG


Injuries
San Antonio: F, Matt Bonner (hand, out); G/F, Michael Finley (ankle, day-to-day).
Oklahoma City: F, Matt Harpring (knee, out), G/F, Kyle Weaver (shoulder, out); G, Kevin Ollie (knee, day-to-day).

Where to find it?
On TV: KSBI
On Radio: Thunder Radio Network

What you need to know?
While still a stout defensive team, the San Antonio Spurs are a better offensive team than in years past. Richard Jefferson was added to the mix with Tony Parker and Tim Duncan and has become a great tertiary scoring option. But, don’t get that confused with a paradigm shift, the Spurs are still a very good defensive team. Only three NBA teams are in the top 10 in both points scored and points allowed per game. The Spurs (102.0 scored, 93.5 allowed)are one and the other two teams played in the NBA Finals last year (the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic).

Winning eight of their last ten games, the Oklahoma City Thunder has relied on a blend of clamp-down defense, brilliant performances by Kevin Durant and haunted hotels to help state its cause as a playoff contender. Head coach Scott Brooks is still playing with different rotations to find the best fit, but won’t complain if those wins keep coming in.

Who to watch?
I don’t know if it’s possible for such a mild-mannered man to have a mean streak, but Duncan has heard all those pessimistic whispers and answered the call. He’s averaging over 20.2 points per game – the last time he finished the season with 20-plus per game was 2006-07 – and is averaging a double-double for the 13th straight year.

Of late, Durant has been a stud, but Russell Westbrook has been a menace. In the last five games, he’s averaging 18.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 1.8 steals. Durant can – and will – shoot the lights out while Westbrook makes contributions all over the box score.
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