What Now, Oklahoma City? San Antonio Looks to Grab 2-0 Lead in West Finals
By James Patrick Quizon | May 22, 2014 2:32 AM EST
The Oklahoma City Thunder tried their best against the San Antonio Spurs in the opening game of the Western Conference Finals but came up way short against the defending West champions. Can Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook even the series at one apiece before the series shifts back to OKC? Or will Tim Duncan and Tony Parker lead their team to a commanding 2-0 series lead?
May 19, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) is fouled while shooting by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) in game one of the Western Conference Finals in the 2014 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is set on Wednesday night (Thursday morning Australia) as OKC looks to bounce back after the 122-105 defeat in Game 1 and the Texas team aims to take advantage once again against the short-handed Thunder.
Oklahoma City missed big man Serge Ibaka and missed him badly in the opener. The Thunder allowed 66 points in the paint—more than half of the Spurs’ total output—as San Antonio ran away with the blowout win.
The Spurs’ masterful performance started early behind Duncan who scored 21 of his 27 points in the first half when San Antonio led 67-59. Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green had 16 points apiece while Parker looked to pass more in the game with 12 assists on top of 14 points.
Still, the Thunder looked competitive in stretches despite the final score. They actually stole the lead, 78-77 with 4:43 to go in the third quarter behind the power duo of Durant and Westbrook. But then, the Spurs got their bearings back an unleashed a 12-4 run before the fourth quarter and from there OKC never challenged again.
Durant had 28 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists while Westbrook had 25 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists. Off the bench, Derek Fisher and Reggie Jackson added 16 and 13 points, respectively but it wasn’t enough for the Thunder, who allowed the Spurs to shoot 57.5 per cent from the field (50-of-87 FG).
How will the Thunder bounce back in Game 2? Still without Ibaka, can they stop the Spurs this time and tie? What will the Spurs do for an encore? Dominate the paint again against the helpless OKC bigs?
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