OKLAHOMA CITY (Sporting Alert) — All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook is back in the Oklahoma City starting lineup for tonight’s clash at home with San Antonio.
Also playing tonight is Tiago Splitter, who has been cleared to suit-up for the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA game at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
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OKC: Russell Westbrook (PG) Thabo Sefolosha (SG) Kevin Durant (SF) Serge Ibaka (PF) Kendrick Perkins (C)
Spurs: Tony Parker (PG) Danny Green (SG) Kawhi Leonard (SF) Tim Duncan (PF) Tiago Splitter (C)
The Spurs center Splitter had been doubtful for the game with a right ankle sprain after being listed as probable for the game.
He suffered the ankle injury in the first half of Monday night’s 112-93 blowout victory over the New Orleans Pelicans and remained on the bench after scoring 11 points and pulling down six rebounds in his 13-minutes of early action.
San Antonio (13-1) has been very impressive lately, regardless of who was on the floor. They have been known for their deep squad and Manu Ginobili believes that this has contributed heavily to the team’s great start to the season.
“We’ve got a deep team,” said reserve guard Manu Ginobili, who led San Antonio with 16 points against the Pelicans. “We’re moving the ball really well.
“We’re making shots. The last five games, we made a ton of shots and we are playing focused.”
Gregg Popovich’s team is on an 11 game winning streak and also take a 6-1 road record to Oklahoma City (9-3), which is yet to suffer a defeat from their six games at home this season.
The OKC Thunder also comes into this contest on the back of a one way victory on Sunday night. The Thunder registered a comfortable 95-73 win over the Utah Jazz, with Reggie Jackson starting as the point guard as Westbrook was held out and given a rest.
It was believed that head coach Scott Brooks was already looking to this game when he gave Westbrook the night off after the guard played nine straight games following his come back from surgery.
The fans have been looking forward to seeing this matchup and Brooks is also bracing himself for what is expected to be an exciting home contest.
“It’s going to be an exciting game,” the Thunder coach said. “Both teams love to compete and both teams know each other very well.
“San Antonio have a lot of strengths and we have a lot of strengths. We’re looking forward to the game.”
Tony Parker has been in good touch thus far for Spurs, averaging 18.2 points per game on 56.6 percent shooting from the field in the last 13 games, and his matchup with Westbrook and even young Jackson should be one of the highlights of the game.
OKC will be looking to Kevin Durant, who is averaging 29-ppg and shooting 46.8 percent from the floor in his last 8 games, as well as Westbrook and Serge Ibaka to do most of the damage to San Antonio.