Five Oklahoma City Thunder players scored 13 points or more as they snapped a nine-game losing streak in San Antonio with a 109-103 victory.
Despite 52 (20-38 FG's) from the Spurs' superstar duo of DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge, the Thunder relied on their three guards - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder - to carry them to their eighth victory in the last nine games.
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Here are the takeaways from this game that saw the Thunder commit a season-low four turnovers:
SGA extends strong run
Sophomore Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has scored 20 or more in six of the last seven games for the Thunder and has been in the team's top-scorer in five of the last seven.
Three times in the last seven games, he has scored a career-high 32.
He continued his run today, by top-scoring with 25 points (10-18 FG's) while also recording seven rebounds and five assists. He finished with a team-high +15 in his 36 minutes on the floor.
He scored 15 of his 25 in the decisive third quarter where the Thunder outscored the Spurs 27-21 to bring the nine-point halftime lead down to just two.
"I'm just trusting my work. Putting it in everyday" Gilgeous-Alexander says about taking over in the third quarter.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ straight wins (and 8 out of the last 9). #ThunderUp- OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) January 3, 2020
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⭐️ https://t.co/zRCS00RkF6 pic.twitter.com/qVqWxuITzu
CP3 takes over late
While the 21-year old had helped the Thunder make it a game, Chris Paul put the finishing touches on this contest with his late game show.
He scored 10 of his 16 points in the final period, including six of the team's final 12 points.
More 𝕔𝕣𝕦𝕟𝕔𝕙 𝕥𝕚𝕞𝕖 buckets. @CP3- OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) January 3, 2020
⭐️ https://t.co/gNRC2sAPvA pic.twitter.com/NKSgWihiyZ
"It's always tough when you're playing against a high IQ point guard like Chris Paul," DeRozan said. "Once you have knowledge of the game, there's not much you haven't seen. No matter how fast you go, at the end of the game. it's all about smarts."
In 32 minutes, he finished with 16 points (8-14 FG's), eight rebounds, five assists, and two steals while committing just the lone turnover.
Tough roads ahead for both teams
Both teams have comparatively had similar starts to the season.
After rough starts, they stabilized and are now staring at a few contenders among their next few opponents. The Thunder, who have won 11 of their last 14 after starting 8-12, will face the likes of the Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Toronto Raptors in four of their next seven games.
On the other hand, the Spurs, who have won eight of their last 14 since starting 6-13 face the likes of Milwaukee Bucks (2), Miami Heat (2), Toronto Raptors, and the Boston Celtics in six of their next eight games.