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Kawhi Leonard & The Spurs Dominate The Thunder In OKC (113-88)
The Thunder came into this game against the Spurs knowing that they had the young New Orleans Pelicans on their heels. The Pelicans were about a half game behind the Thunder before tonight. The Thunder came out flat as a slashed tired and the Spurs came out clicking on every level possible. The Thunder bigs couldn’t get going at all and also Russell Westbrook was struggling against the Spurs defense.
Kawhi Leonard was able to to get in passing lanes and his length was a huge problem for any person guarding him at that shooting guard or small forward position. Kawhi Leonard is coming off his career high 26 points and happened to match it again tonight against the Thunder in only 24 minutes. Kawhi is on pace to being of the special players in this league for a long time and he was a walking mismatch. The Thunder put Roberson, Singler, Morrow and Waiters on him and he was able to get in the post and bully his way to the basket. Kawhi should be considered for his defense and the way that he leads the charger for the Spurs and thats what happened tonight.
The Spurs played off Kawhi as they had 6 players in double figures in the game. The Spurs just came out and punched the Thunder in their mouth and they didn’t have a chance to catch up to the Spurs. Russell Westbrook said “They came out and jumped on us from the get go. We just weren’t ready for it but we’ve got another game on Friday and we’ve got to get ready for that one.” The Thunder just have to get back to what they do which is the pick and roll with Kanter. I feel like Kanter was MIA tonight with the bigs in the paint against the Spurs. The Spurs took a hit with Tony Parker who had tightness in his achilles and had to get out of the game and didn’t return. The Thunder are in some trouble because the Pelicans won and now are a whole game ahead of them. The Spurs were able to get the best out of Leonard and Duncan they were the glue to this whole thing. Duncan was able to praise Leonard and he knows that the team is leaning on Kawhi to get them to the playoffs.
The Thunder will have their next game on Friday against the Kings and they will be tested with the play of Demarcus Cousins. The Thunder have to come out hungry and establish the paint and also get back to the pick and roll with Russell and Enes.