You are using an old web browser. Such browsers do not support modern web technologies and do not offer proper security. Please update your browser or download one of the others suggested for free.
Mozilla Firefox |
Google Chrome |
Internet Explorer |
Manu Ginobli scored 26 points off the bench and Tony Parker added 18 as the San Antonio Spurs edged the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-98 at the AT & T Center to take the opening game of the Western Cofnerence FInals. GInobli shot 9/14 (64%) overall including 3/5 (60%) from the 3 point line in his first game of the season against OKC. Parker shot just 6/15 (40%) but collected 8 rebounds and dished out 6 assists. Tim Duncan contributed 16 points and pulled down a team high 11 rebounds and Gary Neal finished with 12 points off the bench. San Antonio shot 46% from the floor but converted only 8/24 (33%) from beyond the 3 point arc. They also made just 17/25 (68%) from the free throw line and committed 17 turnovers, but outrebounded Oklahoma City 50-43 and recorded 22 assists. Kevin Durant led OKC with 27 points along with 10 rebounds on just 8/19 (42%) from the field. Durant drained 11/12 (92%) from the charity stripe, dished out 4 assists and recorded 3 blocks. James Harden added 19 off the bench on 7/17 (41%) overall including 5/9 (56%) from 3 point range. Russell Westbrook contributed 17 but shot only 7/21 (33%) overall and was limited to just 5 assists. The Thunder shot just 42% overall but converted 9/23 (39%) from the 3 point line and sunk 19/23 (83%) from the free throw line. Thabo Seolosha blocked 4 of his team's 11 shots however Westrbook and Harden each committed 5 of their team's 15 turnovers. It was a tantalizing near-upset for the young Thunder, who came as close as anybody to beating the Spurs for the first time in 46 days. But a nine-point lead didn't last after the famously mercurial 63-year-old Popovich -- the NBA's Coach of the Year -- huddled his lagging team together in the fourth and told them to "get nasty." After being held to just 16 third-quarter points, San Antonio scored 39 in the fourth. Westbrook chalked it up to a defensive breakdown that "got out of hand" but it still left the Thunder in search of the road win they'll need to in this series to reach the NBA Finals for the first time since the franchise moved to Oklahoma City in 2009. The Spurs matched the fourth-longest streak in NBA history, and with one more will become just the fourth team to surpass 20. The Thunder were ousted in the Western Conference finals a year ago and were in position for home-court advantage throughout the playoffs until being overtaken by the Spurs in the final month of the season. But it was a fittingly close opener for two franchises with so many similarities considering they finished their conference semifinals opponents early and had plenty of time off before last night. Game 2 is Wednesday night before the series shifts back to Oklahoma City on Thursday evening.