NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, February 23rd (All times eastern)
Oklahoma City Thunder (36-19) at San Antonio Spurs (46-10), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The NBA-best San Antonio Spurs are rested and ready to kick off the second half of the NBA season when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight in the opener of a three-game homestand at the AT&T Center.
San Antonio stormed into the All-Star break with a sizzling 46-10 record and completed a 17-day, nine-city journey, also known as its "Rodeo Road Trip", with a 6-3 mark. The Spurs didn't end their trek on a good note, however, as they dropped a 109-99 decision to Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. Rose scorched the best team in the league for a career-high 42 points.
Tony Parker led the Southeast Division-leading Spurs with 26 points, Manu Ginobili and Gary Neal both added 16 and Tim Duncan contributed 14 points with nine rebounds.
"Overall I think (the Bulls) were sharper and played more physical," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Sometimes things don't bounce your way."
The Spurs will also host New Jersey and Memphis on the residency and have won 18 in a row in the Alamo City. They ripped off 20 consecutive wins as the host from Nov. 11 - Feb. 6 of the 1989-90 campaign. San Antonio owns a 25-2 ledger at the AT&T Center this season. The 1985-86 Celtics are the only team in NBA history to record a 40-1 mark at home for the season, while six teams have finished 39-2, most recently the 2008-09 Cavaliers.
San Antonio's previous loss at home was versus Dallas on Nov. 26.
Oklahoma City, which leads the Northwest Division by 4 1/2 games over both Portland and Denver, will begin a tough stretch of games Wednesday with the Spurs, Magic and Lakers on the horizon.
The Thunder will play consecutive road games in San Antonio and Orlando before hosting LA, and recorded its second straight win with Tuesday's 111-88 victory over Blake Griffin and the Clippers. Jeff Green scored 22 points and Kevin Durant had 21 for Oklahoma City, which spoiled Griffin's return home for the first time as a pro. He had 28 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles.
James Harden had 19 points off the bench and Russell Westbrook collected 13 and seven assists in the win, the Thunder's sixth in eight games this month.
"We had a good win, something we can build on," said Durant, who leads the NBA in scoring with 28.9 points per game.
Oklahoma City is 16-11 as the visitor this season.
Meanwhile, the Spurs are looking to sweep the three-game regular season series from Oklahoma City with a win tonight. They have won five straight and 14 of the last 18 matchups between the teams, while the Thunder have dropped nine of their previous 11 contests in the Alamo City.
02/23 11:05:34 ET