5 things to watch: Spurs vs. Thunder


The San Antonio Spurs (56-19) will visit their Western Conference rival Oklahoma City Thunder (54-20) tonight in Oklahoma City in a battle of the two best teams in the West. Currently, the Thunder and Spurs are separated by 1.5 games for the No. 1 seed in the West and this will mark their final meeting this season. However, the Spurs will have to face the Thunder without Stephen Jackson who injured his right ankle during last night's game versus Orlando. He is to have an MRI done on his ankle.

Should the Thunder win tonight, OKC will assure themselves of being no worse than tied with the Spurs in the loss column in the race for the best record in the Western Conference.

The Spurs hold a 2-1 regular-season lead with the Spurs winning the last meeting 105-93 in San Antonio. Tiago Splitter finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds while Russell Westbrook had 25 point, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.

The Spurs are coming off a 98-84 win over the Magic in San Antonio.  Danny Green scored 20 points to lead the Spurs who were without Manu Ginobili, DeJuan Blair, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard.

The Thunder, who have not played in four days, are coming off a 109-99 win over the Bucks in Milwaukee. Westbrook recorded his first triple double of the season with a 23-point, 13-rebound, 10-assist night.

And as the Spurs and Thunder get set to clash, here are five things to watch for during the game:

• The Spurs are 8-7 on the second game of a back-to-back this season.

• The Thunder are 24-2 this season when five or more players score 10-plus points.
• The Thunder currently maintain a point differential of 9.2 points per game this season.
• The Thunder are 18-1 when limiting the opposition to sub 40.0% field goal shooting this season.
• The Thunder are 11-0 when outrebounding the opponent by 10 or more.