The San Antonio Spurs destroyed the Oklahoma City Thunder in game 1 of their 2nd round match-up, 124-92. In a match-up that many have anticipated since the two teams met up in 2014, the Spurs overwhelmed the Thunder from the outset, taking a 43-20 lead after 1 quarter and never looked back. The Spurs were paced by their newest All-Star acquisition LaMarcus Aldridge, who finished with 38 points on 18-23 shooting, and Kawhi Leonard, who finished with 25-5-5 on 10-13 shooting. In starkest terms, the pair finished their night having combined for 63 points at the close of the 3rd quarter. The Thunder as a team finished the 3rd with 66 points.
The Thunder were led by Serge Ibaka, who finished with a solid 19 points on 8-15 shooting, but the Thunder's leading duo Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant had a series opening that they would like to forget. The pair combined for only 30 points on 11-34 shooting and had minimal impact when the game was still technically within reach. Durant in particular was thoroughly outplayed by his counterpart Leonard, while Westbrook struggled getting the OKC offense engaged and struggled with his own shot much of the night.
What we saw tonight were two things:
1) The absolute best version of the Spurs;
2) The absolute worst version of the Thunder
Here is the sobering fact about both. It could be argued that we won't see those extremes again, but the truth is, we already have. We saw peak Spurs during the 2014 Finals when they did this to LeBron and the Heat, and we've seen this type of defense from the Thunder about 50% of this season. When you put the two together, this is what happens. In the playoffs, every weakness will be exposed. The series is only just begun, but the Thunder have to decide what kind of team it needs to be in order to slow down San Antonio. Much work, little time.
Game 2 is scheduled for Monday night at 8:30PM CDT.
(pro tip - stay off Twitter for a few days, Thunder fans)