NBA Game Summary - Oklahoma City at San Antonio|
(Sunday, May 27th)
Final Score: San Antonio 101, Oklahoma City 98
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Facing probably their toughest test in more
than a month, the Spurs found a way to come out on top again.
The biggest victory so far in a 19-game winning streak dating back more than
six weeks has them another step closer to the NBA Finals.
Manu Ginobili scored 26 points off the bench and San Antonio rallied for a big
fourth quarter Sunday night to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 101-98, in Game
1 of the Western Conference finals.
Game 2 is Tuesday night in San Antonio.
Ginobili got 11 of his points in the fourth quarter, when the Spurs outscored
the Thunder 39-27 to overcome a nine-point deficit. Tony Parker finished with
18 points, Tim Duncan scored 16 with 11 rebounds and Gary Neal had 12 points
off the bench.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 27 points, James Harden scored 19, Russell
Westbrook had 17 and Derek Fisher added 13 points after making his first six
"It was a hard-fought ball game," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "Nothing to
be ashamed of."
After three quarters, Brooks' team was in a good position to avoid ending up
like the other nine victims in San Antonio's franchise-record win streak.
The Thunder took a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter after closing the
third on a 10-3 run.
But the Spurs, coming off sweeps of the Jazz and Clippers, quickly stole the
momentum back after playing -- according to head coach Gregg Popovich -- with
a lack of confidence.
Trying to hone an edge, Popovich shouted a command at his team in the huddle
that's sure to become an oft-played sound bite.
"I want some nasty!" the coach screamed.
He smiled later when the moment was brought up by a reporter at the beginning
of his press conference, but his team snarled throughout the fourth quarter.
Parker hit a straightaway jumper early to tie the game at 73 -- part of an
18-3 run that gave the Spurs an 82-76 lead.
The Thunder never were closer than four until a Harden three-pointer at the
end gave the game its final margin, making it look closer than it was.
Despite being so close after three quarters to ending San Antonio's streak,
the Thunder went to the locker room in the same position as the Grizzlies,
Suns, Warriors, Lakers, Kings, Cavaliers, Trail Blazers, Jazz and Clippers.
Talking about a loss.
"They're playing the best basketball in the league," said Brooks, "and we were
Ginobili ended 9-of-14 from the floor, including 3-for-5 on three-pointers. He
made all three of his field goals in the fourth quarter and each of his five
foul shots when the Spurs needed a spark the most.
"That's Manu's game. He's a scorer," said Popovich. "That's what he's done for
us his whole career. Without that, we have a tough time winning."
The Thunder shot under 28 percent in the first quarter and the Spurs closed on
a 10-2 run, taking a 24-18 lead into the second after Ginobili beat the buzzer
with a three-pointer from the left side.
Ginobili scored the last seven points of first quarter for San Antonio while
Durant and Westbrook had 11 in a row for Oklahoma City near the end of the
Fisher ended that run with a three-pointer in the waning moments for the
Thunder, who took a 47-46 lead into halftime. They scored 15 points off San
Antonio's 14 turnovers in the half.
The Spurs shot just 25 percent in the third quarter (6-of-24) and Harden hit a
three-pointer to spark Oklahoma City's 10-3 run for a 71-62 lead going into
The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics will start the Eastern Conference finals on
Monday...San Antonio's last loss was April 11 to the Lakers, the back end of a
two-game losing streak. They are the only two losses the Spurs have since the
middle of March...The Spurs are in the conference finals for the first time
since 2008, when they lost to the Lakers...The Thunder swept Dallas and then
beat the Lakers in five games to make the conference finals for the second
year in a row. They lost to the Mavericks last year.
05/28 00:04:29 ET