OKLAHOMA CITY – The Austin Spurs took the floor against a familiar foe for the third time in a week, dropping Saturday’s matinee against the Oklahoma City Blue, 90-78.
Leading the way for the Austin Spurs was point guard Nick Johnson who had 15 points, four rebounds and two assists in 34 minutes of action. Also for the Spurs was forward Lamar Patterson, on assignment from the Atlanta Hawks, who dropped in 12 points, five rebounds and two assists, while shooting a miserable 21-percent from the field and 10-percent from beyond the arch. Deshaun Thomas added 10 points and nine rebounds, while Cady Lalanne had 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
For the Oklahoma City Blue, Marquis Teague led all scores with 22 points, while adding five rebounds and six assists. Dwight Buycks helped stuff the stat sheet with 14 points, five rebounds and five assists, with Talib Zanna and Mitch McGary contributing 11 points each.
It was a fast start for the Austin Spurs, with an 8-0 run pushing the silver and black into the lead midway through the quarter. After trading baskets over the last few minutes, the Spurs held a 28-24 lead to end the first quarter.
Oklahoma City would regain control in the second quarter, thanks in part to Mitch McGary, on assignment from the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Marquis Teague, with the two players combining for 18 of the Blue’s 25 second quarter points. But an emphatic last second put-back dunk by Deshaun Thomas, off a Keifer Sykes missed three-pointer, helped the Austin Spurs head into the half up 51-49.
In the second half, the Blue would ratchet up their defensive intensity to another level, holding the Spurs to 4-of-25 shooting and just 13 points in the third quarter. On the night, the Austin Spurs were held to season lows in field goal percentage (.357), team assists (11) and points (78), as the Spurs only managed to score 27 total points in the second half, en route to the 90-78 defeat.
“I thought our guys did a good job of helping each other out,” interim head coach Jarell Christian said after the game. “We got back in transition which limited their guards getting to the paint. We did a great job of team rebounding, gave up a few offensive rebounds, but overall I thought our defensive intensity carried the whole game.”
Up next for both teams will be their last matchup of the season, as the Austin Spurs (24-12) return home hoping to put an end to their losing ways.
Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Blue (13-23) will use this last game as potential to play spoiler to the Austin Spurs playoff chances, before moving on to face the defending champion Santa Cruz Warriors.
Tipoff is at 5 PM CST Sunday from the Cedar Park Center.