San Antonio is Making it Look Easy
Hoopsvibe's Obvious Quick Call: The Spurs are going to win the series against the Thunder.
Last night, the Oklahoma City Thunder became the first team to score over 100 points against the Spurs this post season. In fact, they put up 111.
And lost by 9.
The crazy thing about the loss though, was that other than maybe stepping it up on the defensive end, the Thunder played a damn good game. Their big three, consisting of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden combined for 88 of OKC's total points. Durant led the charge with 31, Harden had 30, and Westbrook added 27.
If 88 points wasn't enough, what's it going to take to beat San Antonio going forward?
Furthermore, in addition to OKC's big three going off in the points column in their loss on Tuesday night, they were very effective in other areas of the stat sheet as well. Durant, Westbrook, and Harden also combined to shoot 47% from three, got 36 free-throw attempts, 16 offensive rebounds and only turned the ball over a modest 10 times between them.
And still, the game wasn't really even close.
Oklahoma City was down 22 points in the third quarter and eventually cut the lead to six points in the fourth.
But that was the closest they'd get.
The Spurs are just too good. At least they've been playing that way. The disciplined Popovich offense, being led by point guard Tony Parker who is playing absolutely out of his mind, was too difficult to stop.
Parker finished with 34 points and shot 16-21 from the field. Yes, you read that right. 16 for 21. 5-7 in the first quarter, 3-4 in the second, and 4-5 in the third and fourth. He ran Westbrook into screen after screen, while slicing and dicing his way through OKC's defense, just making it look too easy.
While I originally thought this series was going to seven games, I'll probably end up being wrong with that call. It's becoming increasingly clear that the Spurs are just too good. With their win last night, the Spurs won their 20th game in a row and set an NBA record for a team win streak bridging the regular and post-season. (The only team with a longer streak is the Houston Rockets who won 22 in a row; only their victories all came in regular season play).
Interestingly enough, the Spurs have yet to lose a playoff game. And while no team has ever gone undefeated in the post season, San Antonio is playing at such a high level right now that staying perfect really isn't out of the question.
Game 3 is Thursday night in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City hasn't lost at home.
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Image source: AP Images.