Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – Game #44

The San Antonio Spurs went 1-4 on their five-game road trip. The trip ended with Joel Embiid dropping a franchise-record 70 points for the Philadelphia 76ers. Victor Wembanyama had 33 points but that wasn’t nearly enough (see the Grades).

The Rodeo Road Trip begins Feb. 7 for the Spurs. Until then, San Antonio has seven consecutive home games. This home stand begins tonight with a tough contest versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Spurs have a record of 8-35, while the Thunder are 30-13 on the season. Oklahoma City is tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves atop the Western Conference. In the Eastern Conference, only the Boston Celtics at 34-10 have a better record.

This is the second time the Spurs and Thunder have faced off during the 2023-24 season. In the first matchup, the Thunder demolished the Spurs by a final score of 123-87. Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren, the top two candidates for this season’s Rookie of the Year award, struggled in that game.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

Sadly, there is bad news on the injury front for the Spurs. Tre Jones hurt his ankle late in the loss against the Sixers. Tonight, he’s listed as questionable but he wasn’t able to participate during shootaround. That’s a bad sign for his availability tonight versus Oklahoma City.

As a starter this season, Jones is averaging 13.7 points, 7.1 assists and 4.0 rebounds in 30.5 minutes per game, while shooting 58.2% from the field, 36.0% from three-point range and he’s 22-for-22 at the line during those ten contests.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

We know that Victor Wembanyama will start at center, Jeremy Sochan will start at power forward, Julian Champagnie will start at small forward and Devin Vassell will start at shooting guard. If Tre Jones can play, he’ll start at point guard.

If Jones has to sit out due to his ankle injury, the most likely starter is Blake Wesley. He has been serving as the team’s backup point guard lately. The other option is Malaki Branham, who has started a number of games at point guard for the Spurs this season.

Betting Guide: Spurs vs. Thunder

The Thunder are eight-point favorites over the Spurs. The over/under is 242.5 points. The Thunder are playing on the second night of a back-to-back. It sounds like the Spurs will be without Tre Jones. Add together those two complications and taking the under would be the smartest play.