With his team staring at its first defeat in nearly seven weeks, San Antonio Spurscoach Gregg Popovich demanded that his players give him “some nasty.” Did they ever. The Spurs roared back to erase a nine-point, fourth-quarter deficit in the Western Conference finals opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder and can take a 2-0 series lead Tuesday night. San Antonio is 9-0 in the playoffs and is riding a 19-game winning streak after handing the Thunder their second loss of the playoffs.
Thunder Spurs Betting
When: 9:00 PM ET, Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
TV: 9 p.m. ET, TNT
Oklahoma City Thunder: Three-time league scoring champ Kevin Durant got little help – at least until it was too late – from Oklahoma City’s other primary offensive contributors, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. “We had this game going into the fourth,” Durant said. The Thunder managed only one field goal in nearly 9 1/2 minutes to watch a nine-point lead turn into a 10-point deficit. Oklahoma City’s defense also went belly up in the final quarter, allowing San Antonio to shoot 75 percent after limiting the Spurs to 25 percent shooting in the third quarter. The Thunder had 11 steals and nine blocked shots through three quarters and did not register one of either while surrendering 39 points in the fourth.
San Antonio Spurs: Manu Ginobili did not face the Thunder in three regular-season meetings, but he made up for lost time in Game 1. Limited to 34 games in the regular season due to injuries, the former Sixth Man of the Year turned back the clock by scoring 26 points, his highest output since the postseason a year ago. Once San Antonio inched ahead in the fourth quarter, Ginobili went for the jugular, scoring 11 points in a span of 5:08 to break the game open. Entering the conference finals, Ginobili was averaging only 11.3 points for the postseason. Reserve guard Gary Neal also came up big for the Spurs, scoring seven of his 12 points in the final quarter to give his team a 52-37 edge in bench scoring.
1. The Spurs’ 19-game winning streak extended from the regular season into the playoffs matched the Los Angeles Lakers of 2001 for the longest in league history. They are the fourth team in league history to win as many as 19 in a row.
2. The Thunder have lost nine of the last 10 meetings with the Spurs, including three of four this season.
3. Durant failed to hit at least one 3-pointer for the first time in 16 games.
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