Thunder still trying to mesh ahead of matchup at Spurs

The Oklahoma City Thunder revamped their roster with the additions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to a group that was dominated by reigning MVP Russell Westbrook.

The results of experiment have been mixed so far this season, with the Thunder at 7-7 heading into Friday night's game against the San Antonio Spurs (8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App).

The Thunder are fourth in the NBA in point differential (5.9 PPG) but have yet to have it show in the win column, as the three stars adjust their roles.

Westbrook averaged a triple-double against the Spurs last season, one of 13 teams he did so against. He has a chance Friday to become the first player ever to post three straight games with a triple-double against San Antonio.

Westbrook's chances of getting there against the Spurs could be more difficult with George and Anthony a factor. Westbrook is averaging 11.9 points per game less this season, the largest drop in the NBA, and is shooting only 42 percent from the floor, his worst since his rookie season.

Meanwhile, Anthony has been much more productive with Westbrook off the floor.

The changing parts have led to difficulty in crunch time for the Thunder, who are last in the NBA with a minus-43 point differential in 25 minutes of clutch time this season (last five minutes, score within five points).

While the Thunder continue to mesh, the Spurs have managed to stay afloat despite the absence of All-Star Kawhi Leonard. LaMarcus Aldridge has done his part carrying the load in a bounce-back season, leading the team in points, rebounding and blocks per game. He's one of five players in the NBA averaging at least 22 points and eight rebounds (Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Joel Embiid).

The Spurs have owned Oklahoma City at home and have won the last four games convincingly, averaging 108.3 points and giving up only 92.0. San Antonio has struggled against winning teams in the early season, however, with a 2-5 record.

Thunder notes:

  • Anthony is shooting 42 percent from the field, the lowest mark of his career.

  • There are only 15 players in the NBA this season averaging at least 20 points and five rebounds. The Thunder have three of those players (Westbrook, George, Anthony). The Pelicans (Davis, Cousins) are the only other team with two.

  • Steven Adams has missed each of the last three games, all Thunder wins. In his absence, Dakari Johnson has started each game. In 61 minutes played, the Thunder are plus-33 with Johnson on the floor.

Spurs notes:

  • San Antonio is fifth in defensive efficiency so far this season. The Spurs have been in the top five in defensive efficiency every season since 2012-13.

  • The Spurs play at the second-slowest pace in the NBA. They also ranked in the bottom five in slowest pace in each of the previous two seasons as well.

  • Offensively, the Spurs are relying heavily on the mid-range game and not on the long ball. They are taking the third-fewest 3s in the league this season (23.7 per game). San Antonio is scoring 17 percent of its points in the mid-range, the third-highest rate in the NBA.