The Spurs came out of the locker room looking like they were going to blow the Thunder right out of the building tonight outscoring the Thunder 29-14, in the first quarter. Oklahoma City stiffened up on the defensive end after that, allowing just 47 points in the final three quarters. The turning point came during the 2nd quarter after the Spurs opened up a 17 point lead, and the Thunder began chipping away at lead for the entire rest of the quarter, and headed into the locker room with a ton of momentum and only a 4 point deficit. It was probably one of the most impressive single quarter turnarounds we've seen from this team all season. They went from getting outscored 29-14 in the first, to dominating the 2nd 24-13.
The really impressive thing for the Thunder defense was that, not only did they hold the Spurs to 13 points in the 2nd quarter, but they did it again in the 4th quarter. In the end, this game really came down to the young fresh legs outlasting the older more experienced legs of the Spurs. The Thunder pushed the ball up court forcing the Spurs to run tonight, and perhaps tired them out. The Spurs definitely looked tired at the ends of each half. Even though the Spurs have a superb record, the Thunder match up really well with this team because of their ability to run them up and down the court, and ultimately wear them down.
On the offensive side, Kevin Durant once again lead the way with 25 of the Thunders 78 points tonight, and for all those people saying the Thunder were better without Durant, take notice, because without Durant tonight, the Thunder would likely not have won this game. He was only 10-24 shooting, but carried the load offensively on a night were buckets were tough to come by. The Spurs are a very good defensive team, and Durants 25 points played huge in the Thunder pulling out the victory tonight.
The Collison/Krstic combo again was effective as they combined for 13 points and 17 rebounds. Not a bad effort going up against Tim Duncan, at least on the rebounding side of it. It would be nice to get a few more points out of those guys, but those 17 boards were huge for the Thunder tonight and accounted for nearly 40% of the teams total rebounds tonight. Another guy coming up huge on the boards tonight was Russell Westbrook, who grabbed 8 rebounds including a rebound in the final seconds that sealed the victory for the Thunder.
Thabo Sefolosha again came up with a huge defensive performance. Despite the numbers put up by Tony Parker, late in the game, Thabo was definitely bothering Tony. Thabo finished with 3 steals and 2 blocked shots to go with his 12 points, which surprisingly, was the 2nd highest scoring output on the Thunder tonight, outside of Kevin Durant.
Tonight's victory also marked the Thunders 4th home victory in a row, and being as it was the Spurs, one really has to wonder if this home court advantage is starting to come in to play for the Thunder. The Spurs came into tonight with a 44-21 record, so make no mistake about it, this was a HUGE win. The Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz will be visiting on Wednesday and Friday respectively, and with the impressive Thunder win tonight, they'll have a chance at winning 6 straight home games heading into next Tuesday nights game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Big Win tonight, proud of our team!
|Final - 3.16.2009
|San Antonio Spurs
|Oklahoma City Thunder