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Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 at 9:22 am  |  71 responses

Post Up: Spurs Win, Again

Tony Parker’s 34 points help San Antonio to a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.

Spurs 120, Thunder 111 (SAS leads 2-0)

Over the past decade or so, a “business-like” victory for the San Antonio Spurs wasn’t all that aesthetically pleasing. It was slow, plodding and absent of much pace or flow. However, the system and its pieces worked really well. It worked to the tune of four titles over a nine-year span. Today, the faces do seem to all look the same.

But, my how things have changed.

Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals was the epitome of what a business meeting with the Spurs looks like now. The Spurs were surgical, hitting shots early, seizing a double-digit lead midway through the first-quarter and never laying off the gas. The team’s 20th straight victory was a 120-111 clinic that now gives the team with the best regular season record a 2-0 advantage as the series shifts to Oklahoma City.

While the critics love to heap, well, criticism on the offensive shot selection and young decision makers on the Thunder, it was their collective inability to slow Tony Parker that was their ultimate undoing. Simply put, Parker finished with one of the most efficient point guard performances from this entire postseason. His brilliant 17-point first half was almost outdone, as he hit 16 of 21 total shots en route to 34 points. The Frenchmen was also more than willing to share. He doled out 8 assists, having his hand in 50 total points.

When Parker wasn’t throwing a pebble into his visual ocean, the team’s sets and crispness of execution positioned his teammates to find more than enough space for open shots. Wide open shots. After an abysmal defensive fourth quarter on Sunday in Game 1, the Thunder weren’t much better for 48 minutes on Tuesday. They were flatfooted, uncommunicative and had that perpetual lost look of a team unable to offer up much resistance. The Spurs hit seemingly dozens of threes; all of them wide open. They hit their first five long-range shots of the second half, which was key to the lead swelling from 11 at half to an overwhelming 22-point spread midway through the third.

To their credit, the megawatt trio of Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kevin Durant did their part in the box score. Durant scored 31 points on just 17 shots and the guard tandem almost equally combined for 57 points, 14 rebounds, 12 assists and zero turnovers. But it wasn’t enough. Things got to within a couple possessions in the fourth, but not close enough to catch the Spurs.

The Thunder failed to get the offensive support they received from their role players in Game 1. Derek Fisher, Nick Collison and Thabo Sefolosha gave the team a huge lift on Sunday night, going 11-18 for 25 points, but were only able to muster a combined 12 points on just one less shot attempt in Game 2. The interior presence was pretty much transparent for OKC, as well.

The Spurs got 20 points and some key late-game buckets from Manu Ginobili and double-doubles each from Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard, who played the best playoff ball of his young career.

Thunder head coach Scott Brooks took his share of criticism himself after some of his small lineups were abused in Game 1 fourth quarter. On this evening, Coach Brooks did not have roster issues, but he never was able to slow down the Spurs. His team was consistently a step behind all night.

Rest assured, though, the next two games are sure to spark the Thunder, getting back to the friendly confines of the Chesapeake Energy Arena. But for the fans of the team now down 0-2, the next two games need to have a specific emphasis.

Take care of business. —Cub Buenning (@cubbuenning)

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  • BlackStar

    OKC is in trouble! I fully expect OKC to play a smaller lineup to start the game, but the Spurs will be intelligent enough to slow down the pace a bit and let Duncan and Diaw light up the smaller defenders that will guard them. Then, if they put Perkins back in the game, they will run the pick and roll since Perkins doesn’t do well in those situations. If OKC isn’t leading by 10 by halftime, they will lose Game 3. True story …

  • http://moontain.org Fredd

    go spurs ! thunders’ time is … next time.

  • http://nba.com/celtics lights out

    brooms it is, says SAS.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I think the Thunder will get at least one at home. I will be shocked if they don’t get one. That home court is something serious for them.
    But, they suck on defense. And they don’t play hard all the time on that end. They take breaks. And it’s troubling.

  • Heals

    If SA wins it all there’s gonna an asterisk, an asterisk to indicate how badly they kicked everyone else’s a$$…

  • Kadavour

    you guys still think Russell Westbrook is a top 5 PG in the L?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    Kadavour, 27/8/7 and NO TOs? Works for me.

  • LA Huey

    Cub and his stats…You gotta shame people like that, homie?

  • LA Huey

    I love the way Russ plays. Not too many head fakes, hestitation dribbles, or circus lay-ups in his repetoire. Dude just takes a straight angle to the cup. His athleticism is so ridiculous I can only laugh.

  • HAMMER

    At least 1 person here today will blame coach Scotty for the loss instead of giving the Spurs their due.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    LA Huey, that is nice and all but don’t you think it would serve him best to develop a floater along the lines of DRose’s? Even with all the athleticism in the world, he is still gives up about 6-8 inches to most of the big guys he attacks the rim against. Hell…even LeBron has developed a floater just last week.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    The Spurs are too old to do deep in the playoffs…

  • T-Money

    a lot of people get on russ for the shots he takes but, honestly, kd wasn’t looking for the ball at all in the 4th. it was russ and harden attacking the basket. what is russ supposed to do when kd doesn’T want to take charge?! / the old adage is that a series doesn’t start until the home team loses a game but data shows that it’s just not true. less than 10% of teams that get down 0-2 end up winning the series. okc is done, spurs are not going to lose 4 out of 5.

  • whooo!

    Any writer who ever dreams of using the “boring” line to describe spurs should quit his job immediately. That third quarter execution was scintillatin… basketball at its most beautiful form. Props to OKC for trying to fight back, but you can’t dig out from such a massive hole. And it almost felt like Pop wanted them to make a run by keeping in his reserve lineup during that okc run

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Man, how much due can you give the Spurs? The basketball Twitterverse was gushing about the team all last night and anointing them champions.
    They killed the Thunder, but exactly at what point did the Thunder really play serious, active defense, and when did they concentrate on getting quality shots every trip.
    They had a short burst at the end of the third where they got active, got their hands in the passing lanes, and tried to stay attached to shooters. They also got layups on the other end in early transition. Then Westbrook jacked up a horrible three point airball, and that was that.
    Also, Westbrook over dribbles. I saw numerous times when he should have swung the ball when it became obvious he didn’t have anything on his initial attack. Plus, he doesn’t wait long enough for his screes to get set. I didn’t see Durant being passive for most of the game.
    The Spurs looked awesome, but they were getting wide open shots and having to defend contested jumpers. Very little action at the rim where the Spurs don’t have a great rim protector, and very few attempts to chase the Spurs off their shots and make them uncomfortable. I still think they win, because I don’t see the Thunder changing how they play, but I don’t see the juggernaut everyone else sees. I see a talented, well-coached team with it’s own set of flaws.

  • http://slamonline.com HAMMERED

    Scotty sux and the spurs aint that good. Trololol.

    But yeah. Game 3 should be interesting since the Thunder Big 3 can’t really play better that they did for game 2.

  • Kadavour

    who on the Thunder does Russell create offensive opportunities for? He took 27 shots, 17 of which he missed. The Thunder would be better served if 8-10 of those missed attempts were a part of a concerted effort break down the defense and set up his teammates.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    And the Thunder whined too much. They kept looking for calls. That’s two games in a row. Gotta suck that up homie.

  • davidR

    true allen, but the flaws of the 3 other teams are much worse at this point.
    would playing durant at the 4, ibaka at the 5, be much better for the thunder?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    I tweeted about some of the shot distribution (his 17 v Russ 24) being on KD. Despite all of the love and affection we have for him, he can disappear and float a bit in the half-court. He can get pushed off his spots; it happened in the Dallas series, as well.

    Also, Russ is really not the primary creator during crunch time when Harden is doing the majority of the ball-handling.

    Great win for SAS, but I’m not closing the book on this series, yet. I thought the two teams would split at home/away-OKC in 7. Still more than possible. Yes, SAS was great offensively, but no way they should have gotten THAT many wide-open looks. Last night was still on OKC’s inability to play team defense.

  • http://nba.com/celtics lights out

    @AllenP: what are the Spurs’ flaws in your opinion?

  • Tom

    I don’t know Allenp, I think the main issue with OKC has nothing to do with offense at all, it’s all on defense. Those corner 3′s are just murdering them. Now Leonard and Green were not hitting those shots in Game 1, and we had a much closer game. Game 2 however, those exact same shots were falling and it blew the game wide open. I don’t know if Leonard and Green are going to be able to shoot like that in OKC. I think OKC wins both at home and we get a pivotal game 5 in San An.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Why does SBrooks continue to trot Fisher out there when Thabo is the much better option? OKC’s problem isn’t on the offensive end, it starts and ends on the defensive end.

  • Tom

    also, Brooks played Fisher wayyyyy too much last night, Thabo gave you great minutes in game 1 especially on the defensive end, he needs to be in the game. Also, like everyone else I think Perk does not match up well in this series and he is being exposed. Him hesitating on those pick n’ rolls is allowing the Spurs to do whatever they want offensively.

  • davidR

    tom, that’s the exact reason i think moving durant to the 4 and ibaka at the 5 would improve their pnr defense. not sure what the overall impact would be though. what do you think?

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Thanks Cub and Allen for spending time typing all of my feelings about this series (in a more concise organized manner than i could have) and the Thunder. I would just like to cosign.

  • Tom

    Yeah, I think thats a much better front court for OKC. Or maybe put Durant at the 5 instead of Ibaka since Ibaka gets lost a lot on pick n’ rolls. Ibaka is a much better coming off the weak side. With Durant, his length and quick hands could give the spurs some trouble.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Corret me if I’m wrong but wasn’t KD at the 4 yesterday?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Lights out
    Just typed this on the other thread, but I don’t see the Spurs as having a rim protector that frightens athletic wings. I also don’t see their role players as being particularly scary once they have to put the ball on the floor.
    I don’t see them getting a huge amount of buckets on the block if a team has good post defenders. I see them as being a “rhythm” offense, which means that if you do what OKC did in Game One and disrupt their rhythm and make them think about the next move instead of reacting, you can have success.
    I also don’t think they are the defensive juggernaut they once were.
    I’m not saying they can’t or won’t win it all. I just think that while they’ve played their game, for the most part, OKC has played its game. And that means piss poor offense that makes it easy on the Spurs. Typically the Thunder play better defense, but they’ve been lacking confidence and effort way too often.
    I believe an athletic team that lives at the rim, plays defense, and has decent shooters can beat the Spurs.
    So basically, I think the Heat have a very legit shot at winning this year.

  • http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/shaq-kobe-highlights/ shutup

    Russ played well but Parker played great, Russ forced it at times Parker let the game come to him. If i’m not mistaken Russ took like 3-3′s in transition on the break he hit two and the last was an airball, all three were bad shots ( before people attack that line; yes a shot that goes in can be a bad shot) I think I’m gonna have to quote allude to a Shaq quote “Russ is an athletic dog, Parker is a scientific Dog” lol; once the game starts to slow down for Russ we will see his true greatness, lets just hope it happens before his athleticism starts too fade.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Tom
    I agree on the defense, I said that all last night on Twitter (@AjpDos).
    But what was the problem?
    Lack of effort.
    Horrible rotations.
    Inability to stop penetration
    No discernible strategy on how to play the pick and roll and dribble handoffs.
    OKC needs to hustle, they need to play as a team and they need to figure out what they are going to do with Parker on screens, and how to handle those dribble handoffs. The most obvious way would be a hard hedge, with quick rotations that force Duncan to choose between the corner three and the wing three. And then RECOVER.
    You can’t shut the Spur down, but you can slow them down and then get your own buckets.

  • http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/shaq-kobe-highlights/ shutup

    @Allen I think your giving the Thunder too much credit for the Spurs sputtering offense in game one, I acknowledge the Spurs were out of rhythm but think that had to do more with the long lay-off than anything the Thunder were actually doing. As for Miami I don’t see any really great one-on-one post defenders on that team, Anthony is a shorter less athletic Ibaka, or a shorter more athletic Perkins both of which have had their troubles guarding Duncan. The Heat two Achilles heals this season have been slowed pace on the offensive end (which the Spurs can manage much like they are doing against he Thunder with low turnover numbers and great passing) and great pg play on the other end (that was shown in games when Rondo had his way earlier in the season) The Heat don’t have anyone that can stay in front of him, much less make him work on the other end. I really didn’t want to get into potential matchups for next round, because the Spurs still have a very serious threat in front of them. I expect the Thunder bench to play a little better seeing that they are at home but expect the Spurs to split the next two games and close it out in 5, the opportunity to push it to 6 slipped away when the Thunder didn’t capitalize on the Spurs slow start.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Shutup, I’d argue that the Heat have the most trouble guarding in the post. Point guards tend to put up good games against them, but I usually don’t think that’s the path to winning. A solid post player forces doubles down low and negates the Heat’s swarm defense on the perimeter. But you’re dead on about the pace.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    The Spurs are no longer a walk it up, half-court team, they have become a fast-paced, get it and go team and that plays directly into MIA’s hands.

  • A.

    KD in the 4th vs the Spurs in the WCF is apparently just 1 for 5.

    http://twitter.com/WallaceNBA_ESPN/status/207857262025383936

    Replace “KD” with a certain Southern based superstar and the world explodes.

  • T-Money

    Allen, every team is flawed this year. San Antonio is still better than OKC. OKC can’t control the ball screens for Manu and TP unless they are willing to concede a wide open corner 3. And the Spurs know it. Checkmate.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    @Kadavour Yes, but clearly he’s still a level below the CP3′s, D.Roses and Parker because two Pg’s(Parker & Cp3) continue to outclass him consistently.

  • http://nba.com/celtics lights out

    @AllenP: your points are well taken, but I’m with shutup when he says the Heat wouldn’t be able to guard SA’s point or the low post. but we’ll talk about this when we know who’s in the Finals.

  • andreanglais

    Did any one else foresee Matt Bonner guarding Fisher? So strange…
    And Lebron guards Parker in the 4th, at least, count on it.

  • HAMMER

    The thing is that not many give enough credit to the Spurs. They have won like, what?, 17? 18 in a row?
    And because its the Spurs, its considered a ho-hum. Not many gave credit when they swept the Clippers, instead citing Chris Paul’s injury as the reason.
    Its cool to think otherwise and all, but its a bit perplexing to me how some people view the Spurs kinda as a “winning in spite of” attitude.

  • franko

    Fisher looks great last night! no? and bonner is falling down..
    whats wrong on Blair? ?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    The Spurs many times last night played that Euro ball: multiple pick and rolls, multiple drives and kick outs for the 3 and lots of extra, extra passes to ridiculously wide open shooters like the possession where Tony Parker ended up all by himself for the 3. I never thought that brand of basketball would be successful in the NBA where players are conditioned to get theirs unless the defense prevents it. I watched a lot of Euroleague ball for the first time in a long time during the lockout and it was refreshing to see such excellent passing and general unselfishness from everyone and very few isolation sets.

  • andreanglais

    its the beautiful game… on hardwood – pass it around, test the defence, wait for your opening, then strike

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    The best way to describe SA’s offense is a mix of D’Antoni’s Suns and Coach Cal’s dribble drive system.

  • LA Huey

    JTaylor, it’s just cool to watch is all I’m trying to say. Russ has room for improvement. I just wanted to say something nice about him since he’s unfairly cast as the goat with just about every Thunder loss while Durant and Harden get a pass most of the time.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    All isolation is not created equally.

  • T-Money

    caboose – quite the contrary. surprisingly, big men rarely dominate against miami. the players that completely break them down are the fast little point guards who get in the teeth of their defense. guys like rondo, collison (!), jj barea… they have zero answers for those guys.

  • T-Money

    the ball movement you see in europe is also out of necessity: simply put there’s no kobe, wade, melo, lebron, derrick rose, kd or russ westbrook in the euro league. isolating fringe nba talent on the wing won’t get you a very good ROI. once deron got acclimated in turkey, he started breaking down cats off the bounce but no one else can do that efficiently over there. the closest i saw to iso ball was jc navarro schooling guys 1vs1 for barça and he’s a clear cut nba talent.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Not sure if anyone has noticed this. In KD’s Sprint commercial with the Doodle Jump game, where he says that he was double-teamed and had no one to pass it to. So he (reluctantly) had to shoot it to win the game at the buzzer. The footage clearly shows him defended by one defender who he blows by to shoot a tough contested floater. I’m calling shenanigans on this. #1. No double team. #2. Russ would probably have broken the play and subsequently launched himself at a defender looking for a call. #3. Doodle Jump actually requires more strategy than a Scottie Brooks offense.

  • blakos

    I now know why Ibaka was not defensive player of the year. Sorry for all the blocks he does get…he got schooled at times last night. When Boris Diaw blew by him off the dribble my jaw dropped.

    If the Spurs go through. I think they will, mainly due to the huge coaching Mismatch, Miami will give them problems with there defensive pressure. Bosh and Anthony are much better pick and roll defenders than Perkins. Miami’s main problem will be limiting Parker.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    I hope ya’ll are right about the spurs weaknesses against miami. I agree with ya’ll about them not being as defensive. and about playing fast which will help miami….but man… those 3′s… they bring back nightmares about last years finals against dallas smh. I don’t really feel like the spurs have anyone that can guard LBJ and Wade either. and if the heat go small and stifle the spurs P&R forcing Timmy to beat them in the post (which the thunder did for stretches) then I think they have a shot. and things only get better if bosh comes back. The spurs have trouble guarding that pick and pop…homie would be KEY in this series. but a wade/lebron pick and pop when the heat go small would work too.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Datkid, I don’t know why you think that the Spurs don’t have anyone to guard LBJ and Wade.
    S-Jack
    Kawhi Leonard
    Danny Green
    Gary Neal
    Manu Ginobili
    Those guys are all above average, to excellent defenders and they are all decent size. No one can stop LBJ and Wade, but they are as likely to defend them well as any other team.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    @ Lake I don’t know about Gary Neal defending Wade though. If Ray is no match for Wade…

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Ray’s body said adios amigo a few months back. Gary is relatively young, but none the less.
    S-Jack
    KL
    DG
    MG
    All these dudes are capable.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    No they are not. nNne of those people has a prayer of staying in front of either Wade or a motivated Lebron, and if you put ginobli on either one of them he’ll be too tired to euro step his way into the lane. Those people are all decent defenders but other teams have far better personnel to use against them. Chicago had keith brogans and luol deng. The mavericks had shawn marion. etc etc.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    *none. and if popavich is crazy enough to put gary neal on wade then, dwayne will automatically become 2006 finals mvp flash. which would suck for the spurs.

  • http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/shaq-kobe-highlights/ shutup

    ^lmao so you havent been watching Ginobili guarding Harden? Although the Spurs aren’t the defensive powerhouse of yesteryear they still play very solid controlled defense. Miami relies on turnovers and long kickouts to get in transition, which the Spurs can control with low turnovers and dumping it down to Duncan to keep the D honest, it’s the same formula they are using to slow the very potent offense of the Thunder; Durant, Westbrook and Harden are the best running trio in the NBA. Although Miami has improved their halfcourt offense they still get stagnant and predictable in their attack. Spo is outmatched just like Scott Brooks is right now. One last point for Datkid, its a lot easier for a defender to stay in front of someone when they give a cushion to shoot, Lebron isn’t killing anyone if he settles for jumpshots 18 feet and out, oh and btw if Jackson can cause problems for Durant, I’m sure he has a prayer of making it tougher for Lebron.

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    Go get ‘em Shutup….

  • http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/shaq-kobe-highlights/ shutup

    Even if LBJ and Wade both score 35 points each per game thats only 70 points the Spurs are avg around 100+ points per game in these playoffs where is Miami going to come up with another 30 points?

  • Ronald

    Doesn’t OKC have the best trio of young, atheltic wings in the league?

  • K.a.

    This heat team is no different from last year. This spurs team is better than last years mav. Pretty obvious to me where this is going.

  • everything

    @shutup i dont think mia will just allow the spurs to reach 100. this heat team is a big improvement from last year k.a. no bibby, no big z, no dampier, no eddie house. plus the time spent together by the core is a big plus. so far the spurs havent faced a top 10 defense in the playoffs. Jazz -23rd
    Clippers 13th
    Okc – 17th

    Heat? 4th and they are currently up against the second best defense in the L behind chicago. think about that.

  • Ronald

    @everything: The Heat are 28th in the league in defending 3 pointers. Spurs are 1st in the league at 3 pt%. Think about that.

  • jimmer

    The Spurs are playing as well right now as the 2001 Lakers at the end of their season, and the 1996 Bulls during the middle of theirs. I say this having watched all three. Based purely on matchups, Miami don’t stand a chance. Ginobli can basically keep pace with Wade, or close enough to it to negate any dominant advantage. The heat have nobody to handle Duncan in the paint or Parker on point. The Spurs have an unsightly amount of depth and genuine talent across every position, which Miami don’t. All Miami have is a guy called Lebron James. On his own, he will have to beat a Spurs team with untouchable depth, balance, experience and skill, and that’s before you get into the efficiency of the Spurs in the half court. Lebron is either going to have to be some sort of Wilt Chamberlain/Oscar Robertson statistical hybrid who owns the entire spurs team and the series, or just go home. Again. Seeing as we don’t live in a fairy tale, I know which one I’d put my money on.

  • L

    The Thunder should go small most of the time with that line-up : Russ, JHard, Thebo, KD, Ibaka. That’s the only linup with they can defend the pick and roll with their lenght, speed and overall athletism.L

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    lmao just because ginnobli is doing well against harden… does not mean he’d do well against wade. lmao. if the heat can figure out how to stiff that P&R like the thunder did and force the spurs to make duncan and diaw beat them… they have a chance.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    also… this has all depends on Bosh coming back.. without him.. they don’t have enough firepower.

  • http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/shaq-kobe-highlights/ shutup

    @KID So now Duncan and Diaw beat the Thunder? are we even watching the same sport? Ginobili was the key in game one and Parker the key in game two. Also the pick and roll ran rampant over the Thunder, even when the Spurs struggled in game one the p&r was the only bright spot of the offense, seeing as the threes really werent dropping. Harden and Wade aren’t that much different both good jumpshooters and great slashers the main difference is Harden tends to lead the break more than Wade and Wade get’s more Iso plays called for him in the halfcourt set. Wade gets more shots thus more points on avg. I can’t think of any discernible differences between the two but I am open to your opinion and insight.

  • http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/shaq-kobe-highlights/ shutup

    2012 playoff stats
    Harden 6-5 220
    PPG 18.4
    RPG 5.3
    APG 3.0
    SPG 2.0
    BPG 0.2
    FG% 0.455
    FT% 0.881
    3P% 0.372
    MPG 30.7
    Harden total fgm/fga 56/123
    Wade 6-4 220
    PPG 23.6
    RPG 4.5
    APG 3.9
    SPG 1.8
    BPG 1.4
    FG% 0.496
    FT% 0.680
    3P% 0.278
    MPG 37.6
    FGM/FGA 117/236

    not so much different DATKID although for almost twice the shot attempts Wade only has about an extra 100 points on Harden during these playoffs because Harden shoots 3′s at a higher %

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Wade is not Flash no more Kid.

  • http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/shaq-kobe-highlights/ shutup

    Antone who didnt know a game like this was coming hasn’t been a Spurs fan that long. The Thunder’s energy was off the charts, was hoping the Spurs would right the ship but it didnt happen. Westbrook has played his best game of the series 10/15 shooting great decision making, thats what the Thunder need out of him. Wasn’t really a fan of the Harden stare-down, sometimes its best to let sleeping dragons lie. Game four will be very interesting.

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