Not going to lie I expected the Spurs to blow the OKC out of the water. I thought that their passing game would be back on and they would finally regain the bench advantage they had over the Thunder.
I didn’t expect Daequan Cook to go off for 8 points in 3 straight baskets within 2 minutes.
I didn’t expect Nick Collison to make 3 big dunks in the first half (though the clutch charges he drew were pretty much expected of him)
Nor did I expect Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker to combine for 10 turnovers.
This was a game of runs for the Spurs. Every time they were on the verge of taking a commanding lead, big plays from the Thunder would stop the Spurs in their tracks. Down by 8 at the end of the second quarter. The Spurs managed to gain a one point lead after a vicious scoring run by Ginobili. Then the Thunder went on a scoring run of their own in the last two minutes to put themselves up 9 entering the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was a marvel to watch, the Spurs really seemed like they were going to get this win. After several bad turnovers and an 11-0 run by the Spurs, they had closed it to a 4 point game with under 2 minutes to play. Westbrook and Duncan traded baskets to keep it a 4 point game with under a minute to go. Then Harden went and made a step-back three with 29 seconds to go.That just about put the finishing touch on the Spurs.
This game was once again plagued by foul trouble; Duncan, Harden and Ibaka all had 2 fouls each after the first quarter and Kendrick Perkins fouled out in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. The Spurs were forced to play really small ball, at one point during the first quarter Dejuan Blair was the largest Spur on court at 6’6.
Once again the referees definitely didn’t go easy on the whistles, poor calls were made against the Thunder and yet they still hung on for the win. Speaking of poor calls, the refs really bit on the flopping of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
If I was doing a French film I’d cast Tony Parker. Good actor. Ha. #COMMONTAKEOVER
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 5, 2012
However the Thunder brushed it off, didn’t complain, and went to work on the Spurs. They played extremely efficient basketball. Constantly passing the ball and making the right cuts, it seemed like the Thunder just couldn’t miss a basket in the fourth quarter. The only blemish in the Thunder box score would be Westbrook shooting 9 of 24 and 6 turnovers. He did however dish out a season high 12 assists (yeah he’s a point guard btw).
Harden started the game a bit slow but finished a +24, while Durant was only a +3 and Westbrook a +5.
Manu Ginobili absolutely went off this game. Shooting above 50% he scored 34 points with 6 boards, 7 assists, 5 threes, and 2 steals. It was a impressive to watch him in the third quarter where he made 3 threes and absolutely decimated the Thunder defense. He just couldn’t replicate the effort in the fourth quarter.
A satisfying game but not a satisfying win, the Spurs lost! 😦