It felt like Oklahoma City should have been ahead by more the entire game. The Thunder looked impressive throughout, as San Antonio continued to limp along looking for a combination of players that had the grit and athletic ability to hang with OKC.
Popovich had 3rd string guys playing with starters, then 2nd stringers with 3rd stringers, then anyone he could find with Ginobili. In the end, San Antonio didn’t have the combination and the Thunder rolled to a 109-103 win that may as well have been another 20-point victory. The outcome was hardly ever in doubt after the first quarter.
The Thunder continued to find points in unusual places. This time it was Serge Ibaka who was the very definition of efficiency, going a perfect 11-11 from the field and 4-4 from the line for 26 points. The most impressive part of Ibaka’s production was the fact that it didn’t come on dunks. Ibaka became the Reggie Miller of 2012 and drained jumper after jumper, much to the grimace of Spurs head coach Greg Popovich and his team.
Durant had quite game throughout the first three quarters, but turned on the scoring in the 4th quarter and dropped jumpers like he was playing against children. Durant ended with 36 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists. The other shocker on the offensive side of things for the Thunder was Kendrick Perkins who went for 15 points on midrange jumpers and put-backs. If the OKC big men keep contributing they way they did in game 3, San Antonio is in a lot of trouble.
The Spurs’ offense sputtered throughout. They seemed to struggle for points. Tony Parker was again marked by Sefolosha, who held him to only 12 points on 5-15 shooting. The only Spurs that appeared to play with any heart were Manu Ginobili and DeJuan Blair.
Unfortunately for the Spurs, Blair only produced 2 points with all his passion, and Ginobili could only muster 13 to go with his 5 fouls and 6 turnovers. Tim Duncan managed to end up with 21-points on 9-17 shooting from the field and 3-7 shooting from the line.
The series heads back to San Antonio on Monday for a pivotal game 5. All the momentum and confidence is now with Oklahoma City, who have taken two consecutive games in convincing fashion. The Spurs are too old, yet experienced to be completely dead, but Popovich better find a pulse soon if he wants another championship ring.
Photo Credit: AP