Parker leads Spurs assault on OKC, Take Game 2 of Western Finals
Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals made OKC fans cringe, and Spurs fans lose their voices. Tony Parker put on a show as the Spurs dismantled the youthful Thunder on their way to a 120-111 victory in San Antonio taking a 2-0 lead in the series. The experience of the Spurs was too much for OKC, as for most of the game they made Kevin Durant and Co. look silly. Whether it was the drives to the basket, extra flashy pin point passes, or Tony Parker splitting the double team OKC had no answer. We saw a full on assault that left Scott Brooks, and his team walking to the locker rooms with heads down, and surely with a sense of desperation.
It all started in the first half of course as the Spurs were red hot right from the start. Tony Parker was spectacular as he finished the first half with 17 points. Tim Duncan didn't have a great stat night, but he looked great on the court. We saw two big moments from Tim in the first half with a "back in the day" dunk in the face of Thunder forward Serge Ibaka, and a block that tied him with the great Hakeem Olajuwon on the NBA Playoffs all-time blocks list (surpassed him later on). Manu Ginobli and the rest of San Antonio's bench were right on point as well. Hitting their shots at ease, and passing the ball around something like the Harlem Globetrotters. At the end of the first half you could tell the Spurs were just getting started, with a 55-44 lead.
The second half began just like the first half ended. The Spurs made their first 5 shots, with 3 of them being 3 pointers. Tony Parker continued to do damage to the Thunder defense attacking Russell Westbrook especially, and splitting the defense easily. No one could stop him, and what made matters worst for OKC was the fact that he was also getting others involved in the scoring. At the end of the third San Antonio was up 92-76, and the crowd was more than into the game. In the fourth however, OKC made a run. OKC's trio of Durant, Westbrook, and Harden combined for 88 points. Still it wasn't enough to stop the Spurs. Parker ended the night with 34 points, 8 assists, and 3 rebounds. Manu Ginobli put up 20 points of his own, Tim Duncan had 11 points, and crashed the glass hard with 12 rebounds. Rookie Kawhi Leonard had a big game as well scoring 18 points, and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Game 3 is do or die for OKC. It is a home game which should provide more confidence, and hopefully for them it will add more pressure on San Antonio. However the Spurs have been playing the best basketball we've seen in the Playoffs. They are undoubtedly the better team, and have added pressure of their own taking a 2-0 lead in this series. Coach Greg Popavich has been his usual Coach of the Year self making sure what he wants is done. Getting in the face of your star players, and still receiving fantastic performances from them makes a great coach. And lets not forget it's not criticism, it's coaching. Everything Scott Brooks has thrown at him as been deflected with ease, and I don't see much changing. I believe the Spurs will take game 3 despite being on the road, and if they do I don't see good things for OKC. If you think I'm hinting at a sweep your wrong. I'm PREDICTING a sweep if the Spurs take game 3. Simply because they are the better team, playing better ball, with the best coach.
Game 3 is Thursday at 9pm, On TNT