Tonight the Oklahoma City Thunder watched their five game winning streak go down in impressive fashion against the San Antonio Spurs. Oklahoma City allowed two runs of 24-6 and 28-9 to fall to the Spurs 105-93. Serge Ibaka did his best, with his 13 points, 16 rebounds. It wasn’t enough.
This was a tale of two different quarters, really. The Thunder came out and popped the Spurs very quickly, they even led by as many as 13 points in the opening quarter. San Antonio called time outs, tried to get closer. It didn’t help too much the Thunder led by 10 after one quarter. A lot of it was contributed to Serge Ibaka. He was just phenomenal in the quarter with 8 points, 8 rebounds.
Something changed in the second quarter. Coach Greg Popovich called one of his patent time outs as the Thunder led 40-29 with 8:46 left in the second quarter. The Spurs came out, an entirely different ball club. They went on a 24-6 run to end the quarter. They drained four three-pointers, while forcing Oklahoma City to shoot 31 percent. While the Spurs shot almost 80 percent.
“We stopped competing on the defensive end.” said Coach Scott Brooks on the second quarter run.
In the third quarter, Oklahoma City tried to make numerous runs. They got as close as 71-70 with 2:55 left in the quarter. That was off a Russell Westbrook scoring tear. Westbrook dropped 13 points in the third quarter, and helped put Oklahoma City in striking distance.
Then, Coach Pop called another time out. This time the Spurs went on a 28-9 run. Yes, that’s right. Boris Diaw and Manu Ginobili hit big three-pointers to help extend the lead out to nine. The next thing you knew, Oklahoma City was down 15 points.
With Kevin Durant and Westbrook on the bench, the Spurs took advantage of a lack luster bench for the Thunder. Oklahoma City would go on a field goal drought that last 5 minutes, 23 seconds. Then Durant hit a jumper, cutting the Spurs lead to 94-78. It was just too big to come back from.
“They hit shots. When you’re at home, you get that extra push from the crowd.” Kevin Durant said. ” They’re tough man.”
San Antonio limited the Thunder to just six points with six minutes to go in the fourth quarter. San Antonio casually had 15 at that point.
San Antonio never quit. They pushed the lead up to as much as 18 in the quarter, and Oklahoma City spent most of their time exerting their energy on defense, trying to keep up with San Antonio, they were very sluggish on offense. The only real blessing for Oklahoma City is that they were able to get to the free throw line as much as they did.
Oklahoma City shot just 4-of-20 in the fourth quarter. The Spurs shot 52.4 percent for the game. Hard to beat a team when they’re shooting that well.
The fourth quarter was nothing but a lot of struggled contested shots, and desperation heaves from three-point range. Case and point, the two Ibaka three-point attempts in the final three minutes. Neither should have been attempted, but he bricked both, Spurs grabbed the board.
Keys to the game
Shoot efficiently: F
The Oklahoma City Thunder came out and played great for one quarter. Then San Antonio turned up the pressure, and forced players to make decisions with the ball. Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka had a little more easier opportunities, at times. However, you shoot 43-percent, you’re not gonna win a lot of ball games.
Let Westbrook Do Work: C
Okay, mixed reviews. He really was a big reason why the Spurs didn’t blow out Oklahoma City in the third quarter. However, he wasn’t much help in the first half, or even in the fourth quarter. Putting other players on him right as he crossed mid-court really effected him tonight. At times he was able to blow by the defender. But the adjustments by Coach Pop worked well.
Second Chance Points: D
Thunder dropped just seven second chance points, while allowing seven. Allowing is a good thing. However, we’re one of the league’s best and we didn’t do well tonight. We grabbed 13 offensive boards, but only were able to score seven points. That’s poor efficiency and a recipe for a loss. Oklahoma City cannot play like this if they want to win a 7-game series against a team like San Antonio.
- Too many turnovers. Oklahoma City turned the ball over 19 times. That led to 25 Spurs points. Essentially, that’s your ball game.
- Russell Westbrook had a poor first half. He basically saved us in the third quarter. As I say, you live and die by the Westbrook.
- What’s up with Scott Brook’s rotations? There really bad. Oklahoma City was just left out to dry with Fisher and Collison in the second and fourth quaters. Both were just horrible. Equally. However, Fisher was by far the worst.
- Brooks is very stubborn, and he won’t change his rotation. We need to get used to this.
- Good to see Kevin Martin find his shot in the first quarter, let’s extend that for four quarters.
- This game was a game of runs, and that sums up the game. Oklahoma City had one big run in the first quarter, and the rest were for the Spurs.
Next Up: vs. Jazz on Wednesday.
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