Skip to content

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Watch John Wall attack as Wizards take Game 1 in Atlanta (VIDEO)

    May 4, 2015, 12:10 AM EDT

    Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks - Game One Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks - Game One

    Wall looked like one of the best point guards and leaders in the game Monday.

  2. Ginobili, Duncan, Popovich dance around questions about Spurs’ future

    May 3, 2015, 11:01 PM EDT

    Utah Jazz vs San Antonio Spurs Getty Images

    Nobody wanted to talk about the future in the wake of an emotional loss.

  3. Watch Stephen Curry play like MVP, spark Warriors to Game 1 win (VIDEO)

    May 3, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT

    Stephen Curry, Jeff Green AP

    The Grizzlies have some work to do defensively to slow Curry.

  4. Reports: Stephen Curry to be named MVP Monday

    May 3, 2015, 8:00 PM EDT

    Stephen Curry AP

    Harden comes in second in the voting.

  5. Warriors cruise to Game 1 win over Grizzlies

    May 3, 2015, 6:17 PM EDT

    Stephen Curry Stephen Curry

    Memphis, minus Mike Conley, looks completely overmatched (as expected)

  6. Hawks start hot, finish cold, Wizards take Game 1 on road 104-98.

    May 3, 2015, 4:09 PM EDT

    Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks - Game One Getty Images

    It was a tale of two halves, and the Wizards took the key one.

  7. Doc Rivers on whether Chris Paul will play in Game 1 vs. Rockets: ‘If I had to guess, I would say no’

    May 3, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

    Paul battled through a hamstring injury during his incredible Game 7 performance.

  8. PBT Second-Round Playoff Preview: Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks

    May 3, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

    Wizards could make things difficult on the top-seeded Hawks.

  9. Adjusting for playoff rotations round two: Watch out for the Wizards

    May 3, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    Kent Bazemore, John Wall, Paul Pierce AP

    Cavaliers could be OK against the Bulls (even without Kevin Love), Warriors remain favorites and more lessons from the first round

  10. Rumor: Orlando taking time to start coaching search waiting on Thibodeau situation

    May 3, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT

    Tom Thibodeau AP

    Thibs may not want to go to Orlando if he becomes a free agent as a coach.

  11. Chris Paul banks in game winner to lift Clippers past Spurs (VIDEO)

    May 2, 2015, 10:56 PM EDT

    San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Seven Getty Images

    It was going to take a shot like that to win this, the best first-round series in recent memory.

  12. Chris Paul strains hamstring, heads to locker room, but returns

    May 2, 2015, 9:03 PM EDT

    San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Seven Getty Images

    He was out for eight minutes the Clippers were only -2.

  13. Jared Dudley can become a free agent, but says 80 or 90 percent chance he’ll return to Bucks

    May 2, 2015, 8:30 PM EDT

    Chicago Bulls v Milwaukee Bucks - Game Four Getty Images

    Dudley has player option for $4.25 million for next season, but hopes to back in Milwaukee regardless.

Featured video

Thunder take risk with Donovan, but calculated one
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. M. Conley (4873)
  2. K. Love (4555)
  3. R. Rondo (3860)
  4. C. Parsons (3319)
  5. K. Durant (3256)
  1. K. Bryant (3087)
  2. J. Smith (3083)
  3. P. Beverley (2892)
  4. A. Varejao (2771)
  5. P. George (2696)