Put this one in the category of a game the didn’t deserve to win. Or, maybe put it in the category of games that a great team wins when they shouldn’t. Either way, the Thunder find themselves down 1-0 in the series and they know that the Spurs played terribly.
The Spurs 19th straight win was probably the worst game they have played in the last month and change. I’m sure the team feels fortunate to have won it.
Song Of The Game: Run To The Hills by Iron Maiden
I was listening to this pre-game and I think it really sets the tone for the series. The Spurs need to come to play ready to attack. That’s what the Pop time out speech was all about. Attack. Attacking leads to playing with confidence and that’s what we were missing. And lots not kid each other, the Thunder are on the run after this game. They realized, they must, that they’ve been hit by a superior force.
This live in Rio version is just way off the charts. I mean, seriously, they are singing the entire chorus the whole song. And Steve Harris is just an animal on the ball.
Play Of The Game: Stephen Jackson Makes A 3-ptr
Kevin Durant went to the line and sunk two free throw with 3:17 to go in the fourth quarter and Pop called a time out. I made the comment on Twitter that the Spurs were going to have to make a 3-pt shot to win this one and that I thought Gary Neal would make it. Well, it was Stephen Jackson that did.
Out of the time out, the Spurs ran some high screen action and Tim had the ball just above the free throw line. Jack worked off the screen to the angle 3-pt shot. Tim hit him. Jack hit the shot. The Spurs never looked back as the Spurs pushed the lead to 10 with 2:00 to go.
Stat Of The Game Good #1: Thunder Offensive Rebounds
The Thunder and Spurs both had 9 offensive rebounds at the half. The Thunder ended the game with 9. The Thunder finished with 7 second chance points. The Spurs had 14.
Stat Of the Game Bad #1: Spurs First Half Turnovers
The Spurs turned the ball over an amazing 14 times in the first half and were still only down 1. Truly amazing. Those turnovers led directly to 15 Thunder points and provided all of their 10 fast break points in the half. I made that last stat up, but that’s what it felt like.
Stat Of The Game Good #2: Points In The Paint
The Spurs bludgeoned the Thunder in the paint 50-26. It was 26-16 Spurs in the first half. So, basically, the Spurs owned the paint the entire game. The Thunder are going to have problems is this trend continues.
Stat Of The Game Bad #2: 3-pt Shooting
The Spurs were 4-9 from 3-pt in the first half. They ended 8-24 (that’s 4-15 in the second half). To be honest, they missed a TON of wide open looks. While we laid an egg from 3-pt in game 1, I fully expect that to be the worst shooting effort we have from downtown.
Stat Of The Game Good #3: Boris Diaw
Scotty Brooks had to go small just to keep Boris off the court. Boris had 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists with no turnovers. Given how we turned the ball over that’s amazing. Boris was 4-6 from the field.
Stat Of The Game Bad #3: Danny Green
Whew! Danny put a Grinch like stink, stank, stunk on this one. In 15:33, he managed to miss a ton of shots and commit 3 turnovers. He was 0-5 from 3-pt on some really good looks. Personally, I think Danny was too amped for this one. I expect a much better game from him in game 2. Why? Because that’s the kind of player he is. Same for Kawhi.
I felt the Spurs really played a shabby game. When it came to winning time, they continued to do what they do well — get layups — and the Thunder finally started missing some shots.
The Thunder’s 27 4th quarter points are somewhat misleading. They scored 22 of them in the last 4+ minutes including 9 in the last 16 seconds. The Spurs put a whopping 30-13 run on the Thunder through the first 10:03 of the quarter. Yes, a 30-13 run for 10 minutes of crunch time.
The Thunder shot 5-7 from the field in the last 2 minutes of the fourth quarter. 4-5 from 3-pt. The Thunder were 7-16 for the entire 4th quarter. They went 5:20 without a field goal and only had 1-pt during that stretch. To recap, the Thunder scored on their first possession of the 4th and scored 1 point on their next 9.
If the Spurs keep making a habit of locking up opponents, maybe people will start to understand that they play some defense.
Scary to think that only one Spur played a great game and that only two played really good games. I expect a far better game from the Spurs, and probably the Thunder, in game 2.
I’m already reading how this was a great game and is going to be a great series. It could still be a great series, but this game was over with 3:00 to go. That’s not a great game. That’s the Thunder chucking in shots to stay within 10. Don’t be fooled.
Paul Garcia with Project Spurs made the comment that Russell Westbrook seemed a little too confident after the loss. This quote from Durant speaks to it being a team thing, “I shot good shots, made good passes,” Durant said. “Unfortunately, we lost.” I hope the Thunder keep that attitude.
Let’s do this.