Spurs rally to beat Thunder in NBA's West finals

Manu Ginobili scored 26 points and the San Antonio Spurs turned it on in the fourth quarter to beat Oklahoma City 101-98 in the first game of the NBA Western Conference Finals.

The Spurs stretched their winning streak to 19 games and moved one game closer to booking their berth in the NBA Finals.

The winner of this best-of-seven series will face either the Miami Heat or Boston Celtics for the NBA title. San Antonio host game two on Tuesday.

The Spurs trailed by nine points going into the fourth quarter, when they turned the tables and out-scored the Thunder 39-27.

Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 27 points and Russell Westbrook added 17, but they just could not stop the Spurs in the final period.

"It was a hard-fought ball game," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "Nothing to be ashamed of.

"They're playing the best basketball in the league," Brooks said of San Antonio. "And we were right there."

Point guard Tony Parker scored 18 points with six assists for San Antonio, while Tim Duncan scored 16 and grabbed 11 rebounds.

With Argentine Ginobili leading the way, the Spurs bench contributed 52 points.

The Thunder closed the third quarter on a 10-3 scoring run to take a 71-62 lead.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was caught by video cameras exhorting his players to get "nasty".

"I said that? In the heat of the game sometimes stuff comes out of my mouth and it's embarrassing," Popovich said.

"I thought that we were playing for most of the first half and even the beginning of the third quarter a bit unconfidently, a bit on our heels, a bit unsure of ourselves.

"So I talked to them about they've got to get a little bit uglier, a little bit nasty, play with a little more fiber -- meaning you've got to take it to these guys, you've got to drive it, you've got to shoot it, you can't hold it," the coach said.

"We needed to be active and aggressive -- and we got that way in the fourth quarter."

"He just wanted to make sure we played with more energy," Parker said of Popovich. "They were playing with a lot more energy than us in the third quarter, and we were hesitating a little bit."

Parker's jump shot tied it at 73-73 early in the fourth as the Spurs delivered an 18-3 scoring run that put them up 82-76.

From there the Thunder did not get closer than four points, until James Harden drained a three-pointer as time expired to narrow the final margin.

Ginobili made 9 of 14 shots, including three of his five three-point attempts. In the fourth quarter he made all three of his shots from the floor and all five of his free-throws.

"That's Manu's game," Popovich said. "He's a scorer. That's what he's done for us his whole career. Without that, we have a tough time winning."

But Parker said the Spurs -- who were playing their first game in a week after completing their second-round sweep of the Los Angeles Clippers last Sunday -- would have to improve to hold off the Thunder.

"Oklahoma, they're a very, very good team," Parker said. "I think we're going to have to play a lot better if we want to win game two. If we play the same way we're not going to win game two."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros
    Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros

    The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is calling for the pullout of US Marines who arrived in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday to train Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the allied forces. The SAF commandos and the allied forces will secure the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in this city. Bayan-Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said the US troops might violate the human rights of activists, especially those …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral
    China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral

    China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top US Navy admiral told US lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of …

  • 3 Pinays on Forbes power women list
    3 Pinays on Forbes power women list

    Three Filipina executives, who are all daughters of known business tycoons in the country, made it to Forbes’ list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of SM Investments and chairman of BDO Universal Bank, was included in the list for the fourth year in a row since its inception. “Under her (Sy-Coson) lead SMIC became the largest listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange by market cap. Also in the 2015 list is 70-year-old Helen Yuchengco-Dee, …

  • Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR
    Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR

    Malacañang is leaving it up to Congress and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to consider a proposed special tax exemption for boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in his much-awaited fight with Floyd Mayweather. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said yesterday it will have to be discussed by Congress because lawmakers are the ones who enact tax exemptions, special or general. Pacquiao has been dogged by unsettled tax obligations with the BIR. …

  • Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA
    Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA

    Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday supported proposals to put Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo under house arrest. “Government prosecutors are opposing house arrest for… Enrile. Binay issued the statement after the 91-year-old Enrile was rushed to the Makati Medical Center on Thursday due to pneumonia. House arrest for him would be the compassionate thing to do,” he added. …

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options