Heading into the third quarter on Monday, the San Antonio Spurs were only trailing the Oklahoma City Thunder by five points. However 12 minutes of basketball can make a huge impact as the Spurs ended up going into the fourth quarter down 18 points.
The Thunder used an instrumental defensive third quarter to put the clamps on the Spurs as they held the Spurs to making 6-of-18 shots, six turnovers, and only scoring 16 points in the quarter, while Oklahoma City put up 29 points on the scoreboard.
The Spurs were once again depleted on the perimeter Monday as Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard didn’t play, but they got a familiar face back on the bench as Stephen Jackson made his return to the court.
Here’s the rundown of the Spurs’ loss in Oklahoma City, where for one half it looked like a competitive game, then it turned into a blow out, and in the end a French kid tried to bring the team back but it wasn’t enough against a team that won its 11th game in a row.
First Quarter: Spurs 26, Thunder 30
The Spurs hung with the Thunder for the majority of the first quarter but then toward the end of the quarter the Thunder went on an 8-0 run to hold a momentary seven-point lead. Danny Green would hit a three before the buzzer to end the quarter. Tony Parker (14 points, 7 assists) led the Spurs with nine points, while Serge Ibaka (25 points, 17 rebounds) had 12 points and Kevin Durant (19 points) had six points.
Second Quarter: Spurs 48, Thunder 53
Kevin Martin (20 points) came out firing to start the second quarter, but a balanced attack from the Spurs would keep the Spurs within reach. The Thunder went on a 9-0 run late in the quarter, but the Spurs were able to close the gap with their own 5-0 run before going into the half. By half, Tiago Splitter had 10 points, Parker had nine points and six assists, while Ibaka had 16 points, Martin 13 points, and Durant and Russell Westbrook (22 points, 9 assists) each had 10 points.
Third Quarter: Spurs 64, Thunder 82
In the third, the Thunder gained immense separation from the Spurs as they put the clamps down on defense and went on a 14-0 run that busted the game open to 15 points in their favor. Once the starters went to the bench, the Thunder would continue to maintain the large lead as the Spurs’ offense just couldn’t get into any sort of rhythm. The Thunder outscored the Spurs 29-16 in the third, by really limiting the Spurs from running their offense effectively.
Fourth Quarter: Spurs 93, Thunder 107
Turnovers: Spurs 16, Thunder 12
None of the Spurs’ starters played in the fourth quarter but a group comprised of Nando De Colo, Patty Mills, James Anderson, Matt Bonner, and DeJuan Blair held their own against the Thunder starters as the reserves pushed the Thunder lead down to nine points in the fourth quarter. Though Ibaka, Durant, and company would eventually pull away in the final two minutes, the Spurs ended up outscoring the Thunder for the first time all night 29-25.
Turnovers were once again a problem for the Spurs as even their reserves had trouble holding onto the ball and not passing it to the players in the blue and white. De Colo in particular had a big fourth quarter as he scored eight points in the quarter, to finish with 14 points and six assists.
The Spurs lost their third straight road game and moved to 19-7 on the season. The team will have a chance at earning its 20th win of the season as they fly to Denver to face the Nuggets on Tuesday in another back-to-back game. The Thunder’s winning streak improved to 11 games as they are now the first team in the NBA to reach 20 wins.
As hard as it is to admit, it was evident from last nights game that the Spurs cannot compete against the Thunder, especially in a 7 game playoff series. Even with a complete squad. The spurs most prominent ability is to get GREAT shots, not good shots. The Thunder have faster, stronger, and more athletic players, that are already anticipating those great looks and closing out, causing spurs to throw passes across the court, out of rhythm, play one-one ball, and turn it over.....its time to admit we just dont have the players to win a championship anymore.
@remberthisone It's hard to admit for you because you don't believe they can beat them. In one post you gave up on your team. You should go ahead and move on to other things then. Leave the Spurs alone for this year. The Spurs can compete with OKC. One of the main reasons the Spurs struggle against them is because of lack of Rebounding. If the Spurs are able to grab more boards they can limit second chance opportunities for OKC. By getting rebounds it would allow the Spurs more opportunities to score and or keep OKC from scoring. We have a deep team. A smart team. A smart coach and a smart organization that has given us a team that we can say has championships and has a chance at becoming champions again. The Spurs won Championships by being smart in games even when things were tough and it looked like it was impossible. They kept their composure and believed they could win. A true fan would continue to believe in their team no matter what. Look back at the past Championship battles and you will see we faced more athletic teams, defensive tough teams, offensive talented teams and still came out victorious. WE CAN DO IT AGAIN. I Believe it. David vs. Goliath read your BIBLE. It's Possible.
Something can still be salvaged, it's not too late. The Spurs have 8 guards, why can't they be traded? Certainly there are teams in need of point guards Neal, Joseph, Mills, and Green. Why so many bench players?. What about Bonner and Blair, are they not expendable? Are they in love so much with pennies? Really, they have to pay/spend to be relevant. If you can connect with coach Pop, GM Buford or Mr. Holt, PLEASE, advise them!
@rtesoro440 You are funny. We need those bench players. Are you trying to have Timmy, Parker, and Ginobili playing the entire game. It's not like they are terrible. Those guards can play and all can help us keep the Big 3's minutes down. If one is struggling we have a back up that can come in and hopefully pick up the slack. Plus not all of them play every night. Look back at that game in Miami those back up's are who allowed us to not only stay in the game but almost give us a chance at beating Miami in Miami. It also gave are team a chance to allow Timmy, Manu, Parker and Danny Green to get rest after playing so many games in few nights against a rested team. Bonner is a threat that's why you want to keep him. It's not too many Big's like him who can shoot the 3 as efficient. Blair is another big body for us who can get rebounds. Nothing to advise I'm sure if the right player comes along they will make a move that will help the team in the best way possible. Until then chill. It's not like were in last place. Last time I checked we've finished the regular season number #1, 2 years in a row. I'll advise them you keep coming up with nonsense.
It would not have mattered even if the Spurs have a full complement. They were smothered by both the frontcourt and backcourt players of the Thunder. The game was so one-sided that coach Pop rested his first five players in the last quarter. Green had FAT BIG 0 testament of how bleak the future is. The mgnt and coaching staff MUST wake up. The lineup SHOULD/MUST be upgraded to remain relevant. They can't expect to compete with the likes of the Thunder, Clippers, Heat, Knicks and Jazz. We always talk of the vaunted depth off the bench. Where is it now? What did all those 8 guards do? The Thunder was so dominant it left no doubt which is the master. Wake up coach Pop, GM Buford, Mr. Holt.
@rtesoro440 Although we looked really bad, we also have to be fair. Stephen Jackson is coming back from injury. Kawhi (pretty much our most athletic player and best defensive threat) is injured. And Manu, although I'm not fond of his recent offensive abilities, brings a lot on the defensive end.
We need ALL our players active in order to contend against championship caliber teams and without ALL the players, we obviously have issues. At the beginning of the season, when we had all of our players, we had enough firepower to beat the Thunder (and hold them to 84 pts as well).
And yes, we have too many guards.
@BhaktaSA @rtesoro440 Us having those guards helps us more than people think. When we lost T.J. Ford last year it hurt us big time in the back up point guard spot. It showed when we played OKC. Parker struggled and we really didn't have anybody to really come in for him and help pick up the slack. Now we have more chances. Patty Mills knows the system better, Nando de Colo is showing good signs he can help are team in his first year, Corey is still learning and grooming his game. We have more possibilities unlike we had last year. Now we don't have to rely on Gary Neal so much to play the 1 as he's a natural 2 guard. And Ginobili can do the same.