San Antonio wins series 4-2 (Game 2 of 6)

San Antonio wins series 4-2

Game 1: Monday, May 19th
Game 2: Wednesday, May 21st
Game 3: Sunday, May 25th
Game 4: Tuesday, May 27th
Game 5: Thursday, May 29th
Game 6: Saturday, May 31st

Thunder 77

(59-23, 25-16 away)

Spurs 112

(62-20, 32-9 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    9:00 PM ET, May 21, 2014

    AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    OKC 26 18 18 1577
    SA 24 34 33 21112

    Top Performers

    Okc: J. Lamb 13 Pts, 1 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

    SA: D. Green 21 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Stl

    Thunder-Spurs Preview

    Undermanned yet undaunted, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook threw everything they had at the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

    Even when they were down by 15 points in the first half, the Oklahoma City Thunder's dynamic duo didn't give in.

    They used their athleticism and shot-making to will Oklahoma City back into the game, and when Westbook's 19-foot jumper splashed through the net with just under five minutes to play in the third quarter, the Thunder jumped ahead.

    What became apparent as the highly anticipated matchup wore on was that the Spurs were turning it into a game of two-on-five.

    Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and the rest of the experienced Spurs sat back in that third quarter as Durant and Westbrook led the rally.

    But there are no TKOs in basketball.

    Every game goes the distance. And by the time the fourth quarter came around, the Thunder didn't have anything left. And if Durant and Westbrook don't get more help from their supporting cast, this could be an awfully short series.

    "We turned the ball over a little too much but we've got to continue to trust whether the guys are hitting shots or not," Durant said.

    "We've got to keep playing within our offense and playing with the pass. We'll be fine. We do a good job of attacking, not just for ourselves, but for our teammates. We've just got to continue to trust."

    Durant and Westbrook combined for 19 points in the first seven minutes of the third quarter on Monday night to get the Thunder back into the game.

    But they scored just nine total points over the final 17 minutes of the game while the deep and balanced Spurs continued to carve up a defense that was sorely missing shot-blocker Serge Ibaka.

    Game 2 is on Wednesday night in San Antonio.

    "They're not going to be stopped but if those kinds of players can be made to work hard and just take something away, it can work to your advantage," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

    Durant finished with 28 points, but was 1 for 4 with two turnovers in the fourth quarter while being hounded by Kawhi Leonard. Westbrook scored 25 points while going 1 for 2 with two turnovers in the final quarter.

    Even more glaring, the remaining three Thunder starters -- Nick Collison, Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha -- combined to score five points for the entire game. The trio didn't score a single point in the second half.

    "I don't necessarily say we have to be perfect, just get it done," Westbrook said. "Whatever we need to do to get it done. There will be times when they're going to make plays. They're a great team. There will be times that we're going to make plays. But we've just going to continue to stay with it."

    The numbers can be a little misleading because coach Scott Brooks played bench players Reggie Jackson, Caron Butler and Derek Fisher more minutes in the game, hoping that a smaller lineup would give San Antonio more problems on the defensive end.

    What it did in the end was make life much easier for Duncan, who scored 27 points, Ginobili and Leonard to get to the basket with ease and help the Spurs score 66 points in the paint.

    "Look, Serge is not going to be here," Durant said flatly after the game. "He's injured for the rest of the postseason, so we've got to move past that and just keep playing as a team."

    Collison, Perkins and Sefolosha have never been considered to be scorers, so relying on them to produce on that end of the court may be asking too much.

    But after the struggles defensively of the smaller unit in Game 1, Brooks may be forced to go to the bigger lineup and also play rookie center Steven Adams more in an effort to make life harder on the Spurs offense.

    But making a shot or two sure would help as well.

    Fisher scored a surprising 16 points while Jackson added 13, but Collison and Adams -- the two players most responsible for filling the void left by Ibaka -- combined for four points, five rebounds and two blocks in 32 total minutes.

    "The lineups, there's no magic," Collison said. "I don't think there's any magic lineups if we're not going to have the effort and the concentration. That's our job as players, and then coach will figure out what works for us. But for us we've got to be really engaged and ready to go when the game starts."


    AP freelance writer Raul Dominguez in San Antonio contributed to this report.


    Research Notes

    The Spurs are scoring 112.3 points per 100 possessions this postseason, the best offensive efficiency of any team this postseason, and their most in a postseason under Gregg Popovich. They are also playing at the fastest pace of any Spurs playoff team in that era (96.3 poss per 48 min). Since Game 7 of the 1st round against Dallas they are averaging nearly 5 more possessions per 48 minutes, and 9 more points per 100 possessions.
    In his 12 NBA seasons, Manu Ginobili has amassed 2,635 career points in the playoffs... by far the most among any Latin-born player in NBA history.
    In his 12 NBA seasons, Manu Ginobili has amassed 2,635 career points in the playoffs. His point total is 6th most among foreign-born players behind Hakeem Olajuwon, Dirk Nowitzki, Patrick Ewing and a couple of his Spurs teammates in Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.
    The Thunder bench outscored the starters 14-12 in the first quarter (6-8 FG)
    Thunder scored 77 points, tied for their fewest in a playoff game since the franchise moved to Oklahoma City in 2008 (77 points in 2012 vs Lakers). It's also their fewest points in a playoff loss since the team moved to OKC.
    The Thunder are now 15-19 in the last five postseasons when Russell Westbrook takes at least 20 shots; they are 19-7 when he attempts fewer than 20 shots.
    Teams to trail 2-0 in a best-of-7 series in which they lost both games by double-digits have come back to win the series just 4 times (4 of 81). The Spurs were the last team to do it in 2008. They also gave up such a 2-0 lead in the 2004 conference Finals against Lakers
    The dribble penetration of Tony Parker and off-ball movement have helped lead the Spurs to a 2-0 lead. - Tony Parker has gone 9-of-11 on drives to the basket in the series, including 5-of-6 in Game 2. - The Spurs have shot 22-of-26 (84.6 percent) when receiving a pass on cuts to the basket this series (10-of-12 in Game 2). The Thunder have generated a total of 9 shots on cuts to the basket this series. - The movement through the interior only helps open up the perimeter. The Spurs are shooting 45.0 percent on 3-pointers this series. This is bolstered by open looks, as the Spurs are 9-of-17 (52.9 percent) on uncontested 3-pointers (Danny Green: 4-of-6).
    Danny Green went 4 of 6 from 3-point range in the 1st half Wednesday. The Spurs are 16-0 this season in games where Green makes at least 4 3-pointers, including Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
    Down write off OKC just yet... Being down 2-0 and returning home for Game 3 is a place the Thunder have been before...
    The Thunder were up 36-33 before the Spurs went on a 43 to 14 run between the middle of the 2nd and 3rd quarters.
    The Spurs scored 54 points in the paint in Game 2 after scoring 66 paint points in Game 1, the first time this postseason they've scored at least 50 points in the paint in consecutive games. San Antonio has scored 46 MORE points in the paint than the Thunder in the first two games of the series.
    Durant hasn't had many easy looks this series. In fact, 64 of his 84 offensive touches against the Spurs have originated above the free throw line. This has led to a near four-foot increase in average shot distance this series compared to the first two rounds of the playoffs.
    LACK OF SHOOTERS The Thunder went 2-of-12 on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers in Game 2. Danny Green alone went 6-of-9 in Game 2 and is now 9-of-13 on such attempts in the series. The lack of shooters for the Thunder allowed the Spurs to close off the driving lanes in Game 2. The Thunder shot 42.1 percent when trying to finish on drives in Game 2, their second worst percentage this postseason, and had four of their attempts blocked. SHOOTING OFF THE DRIBBLE The inability to hit or even create catch-and-shoot opportunities led to bad jumpers. Of the Thunder's 48 jump shots in Game 2, 35 were off the dribble with all but one contested. On the series, 70 percent of the Thunder's jumpers have been off the dribble (44 percent for the Spurs). Westbrook likes to take pull-up jumpers, but his shooting has dipped from 39.1 percent in the first two rounds to 22.2 percent this series against the Spurs (2-of-11 in Game 2).
    The Spurs outscored the Thunder 34-18 in the 2nd quarter, and have outscored their opponents by an average of 10 points in the 2nd quarter since Game 7 against the Mavericks

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