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Spurs defense frustrates Thunder on way to another easy win, 2-0 series lead

May 22, 2014, 12:32 AM EDT

Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter

For 18 minutes, it looked like Oklahoma City had a chance.

It wasn’t pretty, the Thunder shot just 37 percent for the first quarter and the Spurs were once again getting points in the paint (16 in the first quarter), but the Thunder defense was better and behind 9 first quarter points from Kevin Durant it was a two point Thunder lead after one. It stayed like that for the first half of the second quarter.

Then the floodgates opened.

San Antonio closed out first half on 25-8 run and take 15 point lead into break and then early in the second half blew the game wide open. Once again San Antonio got whatever it wanted on offense — points in the paint, 54 this game, and when the Thunder tried to pack it in and take away the inside Danny Green shot over the top of them, hitting 7-of-10 from three. Meanwhile an increasingly frustrated Thunder team just started chucking the ball on offense and not giving a full effort on defense. This happens to OKC, if they struggle on one end it bleeds onto the other end of the court and things fall apart fast. To the point Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were sniping at each other a little on the court.

The end result was a 112-77 Spurs rout. San Antonio has a commanding 2-0 lead in this series, which heads to Oklahoma City for Game 3 on Sunday.

If you’re a Thunder fan trying to hold on to hope, you could point to the 2012 playoff series between these teams when the Spurs led 2-0 and the Thunder came back to win four straight, take the series and advance to the Finals.

But this is a far worse situation for the Thunder — James Harden isn’t around this time, Serge Ibaka isn’t around this time, and this is a far more athletic and improved Spurs team.

It’s hard to find many reasons for hope for the Thunder.

If the Thunder put out a defensive lineup — like their starting five with Thabo Sefolosha, Nick Collison and Kendrick Perkins in the lineup — it turns Durant and Westbrook into the only scorers and the sole focus of the defense. The result was that starting lineup shot 5-of-16 and was -7 for the game.

As the defense focused on Durant and Westbrook, they became jump shooters who could not get into the lane.

“Our offense is good when we’re attacking and getting to the line and we weren’t getting to the line,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said in his post game press conference televised on NBA TV.

Durant had 15 points on 16 shots and only two of his shots came inside 8 feet of the rim. Russell Westbrook had 15 points on 24 shots. As a team the Thunder shot 39.3 percent.

San Antonio had balance — Tony Parker 22 points, Danny Green 21, Tim Duncan 14, and as a team they shot 50 percent. The Spurs were 9-of-23 from three and got to the free throw line 23 times.

What the Spurs did is something they can do every game — share the ball, cut off the ball, get into the paint, knock down threes. They have two blowout wins in this series and they can replicate that model on the road.

Outside of taking Serge Ibaka to Lourdes and getting a miracle recovery, I’m not sure there is much Scott Brooks can do to change this series around. He should start Steven Adams (over Perkins) and Caron Butler (over Sefolosha) but in the end that’s not going to be enough.

  1. trbowman - May 22, 2014 at 12:36 AM

    This is over. No reason to think OKC wins a game. Spurs are dominant.

    • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 12:53 AM

      The Spurs aren’t dominant. If they were dominant they wouldn’t have went 7 games in the first round. They were lucky to face the green Blazers in the 2nd round and the ring-less, Ibaka-less Thunder now. They won’t be so lucky when they get to the Finals and have to deal with The Akron Hammer and Flash again, on another championship defense mission.

      • bucrightoff - May 22, 2014 at 1:04 AM

        No, what that shows is that Rick Carlisle is a great coach. Spurs will sweep the Heat.

      • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 1:13 AM

        Yeah, that’s what it was… Rick Carlisle’s coaching.

        Come to think of it… Erik Spoelstra has done things as a coach that neither Carlisle or Pop has ever done (back-to-back rings, back-to-back finals, three straight finals) – so if Pop thought beating Carlisle and Dirk was difficult, imagine the trouble he’s going to have against Spo and James.

      • 00maltliquor - May 22, 2014 at 1:48 AM

        A Michelle Beadle nickname reference! Nice

      • 00maltliquor - May 22, 2014 at 1:51 AM

        Hey anti, Spo’ also has what niether Carlisle or Pop had…LBJ. Ehat exactly do you think Spo’ would do with a, lets say… Warriors roster?

      • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 2:04 AM

        Pop has Duncan. Pop has Duncan and Parker. Pop has Duncan, Parker and Ginobili.

        That’s more than enough.

        Now what’s his excuse for never being able to defend a title? He couldn’t even coach a team to the finals in back-to-back seasons. If they make it this year it will be hist first time. New territory for Pop. Old news to Spo.

      • 00maltliquor - May 22, 2014 at 3:49 AM

        @ anti…

        I love it!

        But for real, you can’t compare Duncan, Parker OR Ginobili to LBJ. LBJ is LBJ. Duncan, for as great as he was will never be confused with being better (although some confused people will say he is). All of them are good/great in their own rights, but as much as I wouldn’t like to say it, he is unimaginably remarkable. You can literally put LBJ on ANY team and call them a contender. Look no further then what he did for Cleveland’s garbage rosters.

        Duncan, Parker and Gino have reached the level of success due to
        1) Having a GREAT ALL-TIME coach that’s been there for-ev-er (read that in Sandlot voice) and

        2) The franchise kept all 3 together so long they know each other inside and out + bball IQ is HEAVY between all three. They are all like that 3 man trio you find at the sports park or the Y that are so old, but yet run ish because the synergy between them is so strong.

        You can’t tell me Spo can coach the Thunder to a few championships. I would put my life on it Pop would.

      • kavika6 - May 22, 2014 at 4:57 AM

        Spoelstra is trash. Just a puppet. Lebron and Wade are the real coaches of that team.

      • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        Uh huh.

      • bucrightoff - May 22, 2014 at 6:52 AM

        The Heat also benefit from playing in the JV conference, where they’ve basically had a bye to the Finals each of the last 4 years. The Heat, even with the exact same team but playing in the Western Conference, would not make 4 Finals in a row, maybe they make 2 in 4 years but no way do they have 4 in a row.

      • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 2:41 PM

        Yeah? If Garnett, Pierce, Allen and Rondo were JV then what is Oklahoma City?

  2. the1nonlyk - May 22, 2014 at 12:39 AM

    spurs are goin big!! half way there you “old” guys now its time to take this clinic on the road! ps love me some d green clinic master AND making it look so fluid! go spurs go!

    • 00maltliquor - May 22, 2014 at 3:59 AM

      Hey the1

      Good luck my Spurs lovin’ broham. I really hope they can keep it up. I know you don’t believe me but it’s all good. Even though I don’t believe in y’all, I just wanna see someone take down the 800 Lbs. gorilla.

      Spurs look A-MAZIIIING. But like I’ve said before, I know how this movie ends. God I hope I’m wrong. Once they beat the Thunder I’m rooting for you guys. I love everything about your organization and how they get down. From the way they stick with their core no matter how old, to not getting rid of their coach, to the owner down to the talent evaluators. You have the model franchise.

  3. arrogantnation - May 22, 2014 at 12:40 AM

    That was a bloodbath. Popovich is the best coach of all time. 15 straight seasons of 50 or more wins… truly remarkable.

    • shen90 - May 22, 2014 at 12:56 AM

      Thank you, I was trying to think of a word or phrase strong enough to describe the game because route just wasn’t doing it and easy win made me laugh.

  4. antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    Durant before Game 2: “I have another level I have to go to in order for us to get this thing done.”

    Time for KD to stop playing make believe and return LeBron’s MVP.


    • savvybynature - May 22, 2014 at 1:31 AM

      Postseason performance has no bearing on the MVP honors. If it did, Lebron never would have won it in 2011 when he choked against Dallas.
      Your post is irrelevant.

      • beach305 - May 22, 2014 at 1:36 AM

        Rose won it that year

      • savvybynature - May 22, 2014 at 1:40 AM

        Well Rose definitely wouldn’t have won it that year, he got owned by Lebron in the playoffs. But Lebron got owned by Dirk.
        But it’s all irrelevant in the MVP discussion anyway.

      • nfl4days - May 22, 2014 at 1:41 AM

        Lmao nice job exposing yourself.

      • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 1:42 AM

        What KD is doing now is just exposing what was also apparent in the regular season, but ignored.

        Are we going to act like we didn’t already know that LeBron does a lot more than Durant every game? We already knew that! KD doesn’t even have half of LeBron’s responsibilities.

      • savvybynature - May 22, 2014 at 1:46 AM

        So the MVP should be based on what you are predicting is going to happen in the playoffs?
        Interesting theory. Let’s just name it the Antistradforian Award and give it to Lebron every season then.

      • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 1:59 AM

        @savvybynature – It probably should be given to LeBron every season because nobody does as much as he does every single game. No one else even comes close. And that even applies historically. Here is Chuck and Kenny Smith talking about it the other night:

      • savvybynature - May 22, 2014 at 2:16 AM

        So Wilt Chamberlain averaging 50 and 23, wasn’t even close to what Lebron did this year for his team?
        Wow man, you really did just start watching the NBA in 2010 didn’t you?

      • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 2:33 AM

        @savvybynature – well for one thing Wilt’s teams got 140+ possessions a game in those days, compared to 91 for Miami in 2014. And shooting percentages in those days were terrible – 43% for a guard was historically elite.

        In any case, Wilt didn’t play point guard and didn’t defend the other team’s best scorer. He defended the rim. Wilt didn’t run the offense and he didn’t run the defense. LeBron is a coach on the floor on both ends. James is just a more complete player than Chamberlain. He can play 5 positions. Wilt can play 2, max.

      • gofinsgoheatfloria - May 22, 2014 at 6:21 AM

        More ups than downs on a post with a factual howler. Ya gotta love this board.

        You also have to love the cycle that repeats over and over:

        Spo hasn’t shown anything because he has LBJ. (routine during COY discussions);

        LBJ couldn’t win without the loaded roster. (routine during MVP discussions);

        The roster have rings only because of LBJ (routine the rest of the time).

        Ya gotta love this board.

    • kb2408 - May 22, 2014 at 1:51 AM

      It’s also time for Miami to give the Spurs the NBA Championship from last season too. The Spurs won it in 6 games.

      • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 1:53 AM

        How did the Spurs win it in 6 games when they choked in Game 6?

    • kb2408 - May 22, 2014 at 2:15 AM

      Where were you after Dallas clowned the Heat in 6 games? I know, you hoped on the bandwagon after they beat the Thunder. PBT will be a lot emptier after the Spurs win the title.

      • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 2:25 AM

        Well if you must know, I was at ESPN. I didn’t come here until after ESPN’s boards got shut down – which happened last summer.

      • tuberippin - May 22, 2014 at 5:44 AM

        So we have ESPN to blame, then.

  5. the1nonlyk - May 22, 2014 at 12:43 AM

    pps what was that charles you think these old haggard men can make it to the finals (and you think texas women are hot hot hot like these spurs)? well too bad you cant change your bet. now go bury your face in more churros hahahahah

  6. redstar504 - May 22, 2014 at 12:48 AM

    Your right a lot of what went on was OKC loosing focus for large stretches. That falls right back on coaching. You gotta sustain your play work thru the runs and keep plugging away. The Spurs are way better but they are not unbeatable the lack of direction and focus on display by OKC is what is shocking.

  7. drunkenjunk - May 22, 2014 at 12:52 AM

    That was brutal, it doesn’t look like OKC will even make it to game 5. Gotta say I’m not really looking forward to a Heat Spurs rematch. I’d of rather seen Miami play anyone else out of the west.

    • savvybynature - May 22, 2014 at 1:32 AM

      Even the Jazz? Lol

      • 00maltliquor - May 22, 2014 at 4:09 AM

        Pretty sure he meant anyone out west that made the playoffs. But that was funny though.

  8. jerdogthompson - May 22, 2014 at 12:56 AM

    Spurs are not unbeatable, however, OKC shouldn’t be the ones facing them right now. We got robbed.


    • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 1:06 AM

      That one blown out of bounds call turned out to be pretty significant.

    • syrinx35 - May 22, 2014 at 10:39 AM

      The refs handed OKC that game, just like the NBA handed them game 7 against the Grizzlies by suspending Zach Randolph for instinctively reacting after an OKC player tripped him.

  9. tombstone7 - May 22, 2014 at 1:00 AM

    Durant is the MVP and Russell is the sidekick……Ruselll is not happy!

  10. muathjam21 - May 22, 2014 at 1:06 AM

    Something’s wrong in OKC. Chemistry just isn’t right.

    • 00maltliquor - May 22, 2014 at 4:10 AM

      It’s called Ibaka is out.

    • syrinx35 - May 22, 2014 at 10:39 AM

      And it is fun to watch!

  11. davecotuit - May 22, 2014 at 1:18 AM

    the spurs aren t “dominant”? hahahahahaha what a fool who said this.

    somebody please tell me POP ain t the best coach in pro basketball since phil J retired.

    Spurs take it all this season!!

    ps the way the spurs are anhilating OKC says a lot about just how far the Clippers have to go to be a serious contender.

    • the1nonlyk - May 22, 2014 at 1:23 AM

      what he said

    • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 1:29 AM

      Pop isn’t the best coach in pro basketball since Phil J retired. If he was, his teams wouldn’t keep choking in the playoffs. And they almost did it again this year! In the first round, no less.

      The Clippers would fare better against the Spurs because they can score efficiently in the paint (much like Miami). OKC cannot. Durant and Westbrook take too many jumpers, playing right into the Spurs hands.

      • kb2408 - May 22, 2014 at 1:42 AM

        If Dallas was in the East they’d be in the Conf. Finals right now.

      • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 1:44 AM

        Doubt it.

      • the1nonlyk - May 22, 2014 at 1:43 AM

        aw the hungy troll is back

      • kb2408 - May 22, 2014 at 1:45 AM

        “If” Miami wins the JV league the Spurs will demolish them in 5 games. They can’t score enough to hang with the Spurs.

      • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 1:50 AM

        The Miami Heat can’t score enough? LeBron James and Dwyane Wade can’t score enough points to keep up with Parker and Duncan?

        Are you drunk posting again!? Miami’s offense is excellent. In the playoffs the Spurs and the Heat have both been scoring 112 points per 100 possessions.

      • kb2408 - May 22, 2014 at 2:05 AM

        Initially I wanted Indy to win the East. Now I want Miami to win it. It will be worth it just to hear how you’re going to spin it after the Spurs curb stomp them. You’ll probably disappear as fast as those bandwagon hopers did in game 6 last season.

      • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 2:20 AM

        Yeah, yeah, yeah… Nets in 6, remember? Indy in 7, no in 6! Spurs will curb stomp ’em! The Heat don’t have Hakeem, they won’t be able to score in the paint against the Bobcats! Remember that? This is the “real” Pacers! You said that after Game 1. Even though LBJ and Wade had good games they can not just take over games against Lance and Paul!! You said that after Game 1 too. Oops.

        Are you noticing that the things that happen in real life are always the opposite of what you predict?

    • savvybynature - May 22, 2014 at 1:37 AM

      Only to a hater does the Spurs winning a game 7 against Dallas by 23 points = almost choking.
      Bwahahaha. I guess the Heat have almost choked every game this playoffs then, since they haven’t even touched that margin of victory, despite getting to play the Bobcats!

      • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 1:40 AM

        If you’re a #1 seed and you’re in a game 7 in the first round, you’ve done something horribly wrong.

      • the1nonlyk - May 22, 2014 at 1:46 AM

        yea ive called him a hater before too there a couple of those on these message boards. i dont like specific teams very much but i dont go on boards just to hate other teams

  12. nfl4days - May 22, 2014 at 1:21 AM

    Break out the brooms!

  13. money2long - May 22, 2014 at 1:22 AM

    Thunder need to get their big boy pants on.

    • the1nonlyk - May 22, 2014 at 1:47 AM

      ha ha maybe they can borrow griffin and his magical cape so he can give them a ride to the basket!!

  14. essfjay - May 22, 2014 at 1:24 AM

    everyone is saying Ibalka would make a difference but Westbrook went 7-24 & KD was 6-16..they are a jump shooting team and when they dont go in you get blown out like they did today. people need to start the discussion if Westbrook & KD are suited for eachother long term. Westbrook plays like he won the MVP this year and with Ibalka gone he wants to be the hero & thats not good for the thunder. plus scott brooks is trash so theres that too…

  15. kb2408 - May 22, 2014 at 1:40 AM

    Don’t feel too bad OKC fans, the Spurs are going to do the same thing to the JV winner. Spurs in 5 against OKC and in 5 against the JV.

    • nfl4days - May 22, 2014 at 1:46 AM

      I thought you only showed up when the heat lose.

    • the1nonlyk - May 22, 2014 at 1:49 AM

      agreed! i feel so certain that i hav goosebumps!

  16. realfootballfan - May 22, 2014 at 2:54 AM

    I admit I’ve been cmpletely wrong about this series. The Thunder look worse than they did in those first 2 games a couple of years ago.

  17. ddpenny - May 22, 2014 at 5:13 AM

    Westbrook could have saved the thunder had he played in the 4tg Q. Believe me. In his world He is the alpha dog. Durant is his sidekick.

  18. newyorkball82 - May 22, 2014 at 7:07 AM

    I love how the spurs still have two games to win, but the heat are already in the finals…. That’s weird. I thought they got spanked Sunday night, and only one by 4 on Tuesday? My memory must be bad. I guess the heat just have to wait for OKC or the spurs now that they’ve knocked Indiana out.

  19. newyorkball82 - May 22, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    Also the spurs aren’t dominant?!?!? They’ve been blowing teams out. Not by 4… They are destroying OKC in this series and did so against Portland as well. You and your blind love for Lebron Anti. It’s kind of pathetic actually.

  20. ravenswhat - May 22, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    Can you imagine how bad LeBron would get crucified if he had a game like Durant did in that kind of loss? Hypocrisy.

    • apmn - May 22, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      Durant doesn’t market himself as King.

  21. heat256 - May 22, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    Can someone let Scott Brooks know the playoffs have started?

  22. phillyguyindc - May 22, 2014 at 8:44 AM

    We’re going to miss these Spurs teams when they’re gone.

  23. 25yearindyfan - May 22, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    The Heat are already in the finals too. Just ask their fans.

    • atahualpaoxford - May 22, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      Ha ha ha ha…that was funny….

  24. golfrangeman - May 22, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    @newyorkball82 got to back you up here. I’m a big LBJ fan ( not necessarily a heat fan but that’s who he’s playing for) but KD deserved the MVP, SA is a great team that moves the ball better the any team in the nba and doesn’t rely on a superstar to win games and the Heat are going to have there hands full with Indy. I think they’ll win because they got more talent and I think there more composed at end of games.

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