What are the odds of the Thunder beating one of the best teams in basketball, when they only shot 36% from the field, were out-rebounded, were down by 17 points at one point, and turned the ball over 6 times in the first quarter. Would you say a win was likely?
That’s what happened and if you didn’t see it you missed a very good and entertaining game. The Thunder came out against the Spurs and were flat offensively (even by tonight’s standards). Nobody not named Durant could hit a bucket. Meanwhile the Spurs were their usual efficient self mostly getting every shot to drop. They shot 13/23 in the opening quarter (56%), had 10 rebounds and 9 assists and only one turn. The Thunder were 6/18 (33%) with 8 boards and 6 turns. They were taking everything from outside and not getting into the paint.
In the second quarter the Thunder’s shooting didn’t improve much, but the defense began to take hold. They forced the Spurs into 9 turns in the quarter, and held them to 33% shooting. The Thunder began to get into the paint in the second and it paid off-getting to the line 13 times to cut the lead down to 4 by halftime. We also hang onto the ball better, only committing 3 turns. I began to think that maybe we might have a chance, but we still needed to shoot more efficiently.
In the third it was more of the same: defensive intensity by both teams, which produced poor shooting by both teams. The difference between the two teams seemed to be that we were getting to the line and they weren’t, and we crashed the boards hard in the third snagging 12 to the Spurs 9. The Spurs lead was down to two at 63-61 at the end of three. Keep Reading…