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No Parker, no problem. Spurs find way in overtime to beat Thunder, return to NBA Finals

Jun 1, 2014, 12:40 AM EDT

Serge Ibaka, Tim Duncan Serge Ibaka, Tim Duncan

All season long fans and people around the league say the same thing: “How do the Spurs keep winning no matter who they roll out there?”

They did it again on the biggest stage of this season.

Tony Parker could not play the second half due to an ankle injury and the Spurs were already down 7. The instinct is to write them off. But Corey Joseph ran the offense well, Boris Diaw hit 6-of-7 for 14 points after the break, while Danny Green and Manu Ginobili each chipped in 11. They took a lead, hit some shots late and hung on to send the game to overtime.

In OT the Spurs offense was all about posting up Tim Duncan — he had 7 of the Spurs 11 points — while Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined to shoot 1-of-10 and that was enough.

San Antonio won 112-107 and take the series 4-2.

That sets up an NBA Finals rematch of San Antonio and Miami — which went a thrilling seven games last time. The series starts Thursday night in San Antonio.

“We worked eight months really hard, we had a very successful season, and all we did was to get to this point, to have another shot,” Ginobili said during the ceremony awarding the Western Conference title trophy. “We’re going to give everything we got to get that trophy again.”

Duncan was more direct in his post game interview on TNT with David Aldridge.

“We have four more games to win, we’re going to do it this time,” Duncan said.

Tony Parker first sprained his ankle in Game 4 and aggravated it in Game 5, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. He didn’t know Parker’s status for Game 1 Thursday, although with five days of treatment and rest smart money is he plays. He almost didn’t play this game but did put up 8 points in the first half.

“The 19 minutes he gave us were huge, we couldn’t have gone the whole game without him I don’t think,” Popovich said in his post game press conference. “He showed a lot of guts to be out there and do what he did, but at halftime I talked to him, he stiffened up a little bit and I made the call. He wanted to go and I said, ‘No, you’re going to sit.’”

Popovich said the Spurs succeeded in the second half because they were more active, and when Westbrook or Durant had the ball they “created crowds for them.” Call it what you want, it worked — yes those two combined for 65 points but they shot 41.7 percent and combined for 14 turnovers. Reggie Jackson tried to pick up the slack with his 21 points.

The other big difference was the Spurs got their threes to fall. It was 49-42 Thunder at the half and the Spurs had shot 10-of-20 on two point shots but just 4-of-18 from three. San Antonio had six assists and eight turnovers in the first 24 minutes. Westbrook and Durant each had 15 in the first half plus Jackson 12 on 5-8 to give Oklahoma City its needed third scorer.

The second half gave us the first close, highly entertaining game of the series.

San Antonio moved the ball much better (13 assist) and that combined with hitting their threes and good defense — particularly from Kawhi Leonard, who had the Westbrook assignment much of the night — they got the lead up to 12.

But the Thunder would not quit, with Durant and Westbrook combining for 24 fourth quarter points — Westbrook again was making steals and displaying an athleticism the Spurs struggled to match.

The end was thrilling. At 97-97 there was a missed goaltending call on Serge Ibaka. Then at the other end the much-maligned Scott Brooks drew up a nice play (well, he cleared out the side for Kevin Durant with a high pick, but it worked). Then Ginobili hit a clutch three to put the Spurs up one. Durant tried to create a game winner for the Thunder but slipped, Ginobili picked up the loose ball and was fouled, hitting one of two free throws. The Spurs were up two. Westbrook drove the lane and got fouled, but calmly hit both to make it 101-101. The Spurs had Ginobili take the last shot over an outstretched Westbrook, it hit the back of the rim (and an impressive putback from Duncan was too late). The game was headed to overtime.

Also known as Tim Duncan time.

And with that the Spurs get their shot at redemption.

  1. jbeagles23 - Jun 1, 2014 at 12:44 AM

    This will be another great series. Beat two teams in the league with great coaches. Matchup problems both way, if you’re a defensive liability don’t expect much playing time

    • antistratfordian - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:18 AM

      There is no matchup problem for the Heat vs the Spurs. They have all the bases covered. Meanwhile, the Spurs still can’t stop LeBron.

      • kb2408 - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:38 AM

        You mean the same LeBron that almost choked away gm 6 with turnovers and bricks down the stretch until Jesus Shuttlesworth saved his legacy? K. Leonard and Boris both guard him better than anyone. Worry about who will guard Timmie for the Heat.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:43 AM

        No, it’s not the same LeBron. That LeBron was worse. This LeBron is better.

        In any case, headbandless LeBron from Game 6 is a legend now. He saved the Heat’s season. And this LeBron who desperately wants to three-peat is better than headbandless LeBron.

        The Heat will handle Duncan like they do all the big men who are supposed to dominate them, but never do.

      • kb2408 - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:48 AM

        What big men did they handle…Lopez? Uhh, nope, he was hurt. Oh, wait, Big Al? Uhh, he was less than 100% but before that he was dominating them. Hibbert last season? Uhh, nope, wrong again. Wait, KG?! Yeah, but he’s like 50 yrs old. Dude, what big men are you referring to???

      • antistratfordian - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:52 AM

        All of them. None of them have been able to beat Miami. Duncan last season only averaged 18 points on 49% against the Heat in the finals. Meh. Hibbert last season couldn’t stop Miami either.

        Miami has never had a problem beating teams with good bigs – they’re built to do exactly that. I don’t know when people are going to finally realize this.

      • kb2408 - Jun 1, 2014 at 2:01 AM

        “Only 18?” If Timmie only averages 18 this time around the Spurs will surely win it in 5. Manu is healthy, Boris is playing well, Leonard is better than last season. Timmie basically predicted a Spurs title by saying “it will be different this time”. He and I both will be right in our predictions….Until Thursday, good day, sir.

      • pphins4life12 - Jun 1, 2014 at 7:32 AM

        Hey Kobe what’s up dude. You haven’t been In a while lol. Yes ray hit the big shot.. no one is denying that. But DIDN’T LEBRON HIT A BIG THREE prior to ray. Didn’t he almost single handedly bring them back from that huge deficit at the end of third and start of 4th. So get lost you have NO team in these playoffs..

      • heat256 - Jun 1, 2014 at 8:41 AM

        Kb…like your Pacers series win prediction was correct? Take a seat, tool. Go drool on your Kobe poster and dream of the old days.

  2. prokilla - Jun 1, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    Favorite time: Time to put up or shut up…

  3. timcast12 - Jun 1, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    I hope they win, I can’t stand the heat and the bandwagons

    • finsfan71 - Jun 1, 2014 at 12:54 AM

      Poor little sports nerd can’t stand Heat fans. Isn’t that adorable?

    • the1nonlyk - Jun 1, 2014 at 12:58 AM

      i cant either the worst trolls on here are heat bandwagoners cant wait to make them and duhbron pay!

      • finsfan71 - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:01 AM

        Hate to tell you sports nerd but if the Heat lose I won’t be crying myself to sleep. Certainly not the way you and the other mental defectives cry about Heat fans.

      • loubearkane - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:29 AM

        @finsfan71

        When did you become a Heat fan 2010?

    • zoomy123 - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:11 AM

      People like you have their priorities all wrong. I’m a huge Lebron James fanboy, however, even if Miami loses, so what? Miami has already gone to the NBA Finals 4 times AND won back-to-back NBA Championships. Lebron’s Heat is the only team to do that since Bill Russell’s Celtics in the 1950’s and 60’s. If Lebron + Miami lose I’ll be sad for 10 seconds, then realize that my life doesn’t revolve around rooting for basketball players and teams, and then smile because Lebron + the Heat have still had a hell of a run. On the other hand, if Miami wins, you’ll be bitter and full of hatred for at least another year. You give sports too much power over your life.

      • jimeejohnson - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:06 AM

        Best comment ever. I’m not even a Heat fan, but I appreciate their accomplishments. I also appreciate the Spurs and wouldn’t mind seeing them win it all. In sum: I’m a fan of this great game and don’t have to take out my hate on anyone, anymore, not even the peabrain himself. This series is going to be GLORIOUS!

    • antistratfordian - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:17 AM

      Well… there’s always next year.

    • bkg63 - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:49 AM

      Don’t worry. When the Spurs beat the Heat this time, those fans in Miami will be off the wagon faster than you can say Jim Beam.

  4. seattlesuperchronic - Jun 1, 2014 at 12:51 AM

    I’m glad that missed goaltending call didn’t cost San Antonio the game. Those plays should be reviewable.

    Here’s to a spicy Finals, I’m expecting some good stuff. 2-2-1-1-1 format back in full effect, I love it.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:17 AM

      Just would’ve delayed the inevitable. San Antonio wasn’t going to lose a Game 7 at home.

      • seattlesuperchronic - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:41 AM

        Smart money would’ve been on San Antonio if it went to seven games, but you can’t deny that the rest is pretty important for them.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:46 AM

        Rest is not that much of a factor. They had all sorts of rest last year when they swept Memphis while Miami went 7 games against the Pacers, and they still lost.

      • seattlesuperchronic - Jun 1, 2014 at 3:09 AM

        I know you’re a Heat fan, but it’s not like San Antonio got smoked last year. I happen to like both these teams a lot but last year was way more than the Spurs just losing. That series was super competitive and you’d be lying if you said it couldn’t have gone either way. It took an amazing play from Bosh and Allen to survive game six and San Antonio has home court this year.

        I’m not picking a winner because predictions are worthless. All I expect is this one to be fun on a bun.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 1, 2014 at 3:12 AM

        That’s the thing. Last year the Heat were not as good as they are this year. LeBron especially was not playing this well – and neither was Wade, who was hobbled. And the Heat still won. So, no, they didn’t get smoked against Miami last year – but they’re probably going to get smoked against Miami this year.

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:09 AM

      Mr. Chronic: your comments are always appreciated. Spurs might, as many teams that lost in the finals and returned the next year have, win a championship. The problem is the Heat have LeBron James, without a doubt the best basketball player in the world. If they can neutralize LeBron or at least get him into foul trouble then they have a chance.

  5. the1nonlyk - Jun 1, 2014 at 12:56 AM

    Timmmmmyyyyy!! “old man riverwalk” “the big fundamental” getting it done! i knew these “old” guys had it in them!!! nows the time to win big to get the fifth! GSG

  6. nfl4days - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:00 AM

    Leonard stepped uo big on both sides of the ball. Guy is gonna be a monster. Nice job trading him for George Hill, Indiana.

  7. cantonb0und13 - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:05 AM

    Kevin Durant.

    https://vine.co/v/MpZWPrPDzbu

    • nfl4days - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:20 AM

      Westbrook outplayed him this whole series.

  8. themagicfanguy - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:07 AM

    Nobody is crying about heat fans, that’s like saying people are crying about Sasquatch…neither one exists. Half of them are casuals who follow great players from team to team, and the other half are former Laker/Magic fans who couldn’t cope with losing for a few seasons. Bandwagon losers.

    • finsfan71 - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:13 AM

      Holy crap, you don’t really believe your own BS, do you? Of course you do.

    • nfl4days - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:16 AM

      People on this site are very fond of making statements with nothing to back them up.

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:11 AM

      When you talk about losers you are talking about the Orlando Magic. Heck, they are even worse than the pitiful NY Knicks. The only pro team Orlando has SUCKS! Plus, Orlando is a Tampon like Tampa.

  9. ptownbearsfan420 - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:12 AM

    What a jip. Didn’t we already see this episode??

  10. timcast12 - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:41 AM

    Lol @finsfan, I’m guessing you’re on the bandwagon also, that’s why you’re replying back, poor little baby got his feelings hurt

  11. kb2408 - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:43 AM

    PBT will be awfully empty in, ohh, about a week or so. Unlike true fans that support their teams even when they’re losing, bandwagon “fans” fade away…rarely ever heard from again.

    • nfl4days - Jun 1, 2014 at 2:05 AM

      Says the guy who has a hiatus everytime the heat win.

      • jimeejohnson - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:13 AM

        And those pathetic Lakers LOSE. Laker Luver: if you take the Spurs they have no chance.

  12. bigwii - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:45 AM

    Spurs had game six won until Ray Allen got that lucky 3. I doubt the Spurs let the same thing happen again. Anyone who think the Heat “got this,” just remember that series was all but done until one mistake let Miami back in. I say Spurs in 6 if Parker is healthy.

    • the1nonlyk - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:56 AM

      yel if it wasnt a fluke then they can do it again no problem, right?

    • nfl4days - Jun 1, 2014 at 2:01 AM

      So, were just gonna act like game 7 never happened?

    • Miami305 - Jun 1, 2014 at 2:27 AM

      You couldn’t beat us in overtime in game 6 and you didn’t beat us in game 7 when it counted. I’m sorry Spurn fans, but you ain’t finna beat us this go around neither.

      • draconian1111 - Jun 1, 2014 at 4:01 AM

        Couldn’t beat “us”
        Didn’t beat “us”
        Ain’t finna(?) beat “us”

        So – tell US – what part of the Heat organization are you?

        News flash – there is the team – and the fans – there is no “us”.

  13. Great Caesar's Ghost - Jun 1, 2014 at 2:04 AM

    Spurs Sweep Heat, easy.

  14. kavika6 - Jun 1, 2014 at 6:04 AM

    Hopefully this shuts Barkley and Steve Kerr up for awhile.

  15. pphins4life12 - Jun 1, 2014 at 7:38 AM

    What’s so funny is that’s this is an article about the Thunder and spurs.. but all comments are about the heat. Lol ahhhhh it feels good to be the talk of the town.

  16. jimeejohnson - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    Lost in all this Heat jealousy is the inability of OKC to make it to the finals, again. They need a Center who can put the ball in the basket. I love Kevin Durant and hope OKC does what it takes to get to the finals.

  17. soopreme - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    What was strange to me was that Brooks let Fisher stay in and guard Ginobili for most of the 4th qtr allowing Ginobili to get any where he wanted to on the court. I kept screaming at the tv for Brooks to put Westbrook on him to pressure the ball.
    Also in retrospect I don’t understand why Sefolosha (their best perimeter defender) wasn’t on the floor guarding Ginobili.
    Ultimately Durant didn’t step up at crunch time.

  18. tombstone7 - Jun 1, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    Greg Oden was brought to Miami just for this series.
    Money says he gets hurt!

  19. jollyjoker2 - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    finally a series worth watching!!!!!!!! Now, San A. better not have Duncan on the bench at the end of the games.

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