NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 31st (All times eastern)
Oklahoma City Thunder (20-53) at San Antonio Spurs (48-25), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The San Antonio Spurs are inching closer to their third division title in five years, but first must get back in the win column tonight versus the Oklahoma City Thunder at the AT&T Center.
San Antonio holds a slim half-game edge over the Houston Rockets and a 2 1/2- game lead ahead of the New Orleans Hornets in the Southwest Division with nine games remaining in the regular season. The Spurs are also just a half-game in front of both Denver and Houston in the Western Conference standings.
The Spurs had a three-game winning streak come to an end with Sunday's 90-86 loss to the rival Hornets in the Big Easy, as Tony Parker ended with a team- high 20 points and handed out seven assists in a losing effort. Tim Duncan added 19 points and 15 rebounds, while Manu Ginobili had 17 points for San Antonio.
After Tuesday's game versus the Thunder, the Spurs, who are 26-11 as the host this season, will kick off a three-game road trip against Indiana, Cleveland and Oklahoma City.
The Thunder have lost three in a row and will attempt to salvage the finale of a three-game road trip this evening in the Alamo City. They fell to 0-2 on the trek and 6-30 as the guest in 2008-09 following Sunday's 103-84 setback against the defending champion Boston Celtics at TD Banknorth Garden.
Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant netted 23 and 21 points, respectively, for the Thunder, who got 15 points and nine rebounds from Jeff Green. Oklahoma City never was outscored 32-16 in the fourth quarter.
Oklahoma City will open a three-game homestand versus the Blazers, Pacers and Spurs after Tuesday's visit to San Antonio.
The 2008-09 season series between the Spurs and Thunder is tied at a game apiece, but San Antonio is 20-7 in the past 27 matchups between the clubs. The Spurs have won the last seven games as the host versus the Sonics/Thunder.
03/31 10:42:01 ET