The San Antonio Spurs erased a nine-point deficit entering the fourth quarter to come back and beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-98 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals Sunday night.
The Spurs scored 39 points in the fourth quarter after trailing 71-62 after three quarters.
Manu Ginobili spearheaded the comeback and Spurs’ offense in general with 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting off the bench.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 27 points and 10 rebounds but didn’t make a field goal in the fourth quarter.
Russell Westbrook and James Harden didn’t have it going on the night and that really cost the Thunder down the stretch as they became very one-dimensional and isolation-heavy.
Westbrook scored 17 points with five rebounds and five assists in the game but was 7-for-21 from the field and just 1-of-2 at the free throw line.
Harden uncharacteristically didn’t attempt any free throws in the game and finished with 17 points on 7-of-17 shooting.
The Thunder decided to go small a lot in the game and overall did not have much success doing so aside from a short stretch to finish the third quarter.
The Spurs were able to take advantage of the Thunder’s weakened help side defense in the paint when they were small and really attacked the rim with a lot of success.
The Thunder got out to a slow start in the game but got back into it behind a lot of energy on defense. They forced 14 turnovers in the first half and just two in the second.
Tony Parker had a quiet night for San Antonio with just 18 points and six assists but hit a few big shots late.
The Spurs went 8-for-24 on threes in the game and credit the Thunder defense for actively contesting a lot of those attempts.
The Spurs outrebounded the Thunder 50-43 in the game. The Thunder had nine offensive rebounds in the first half and none in the second.
Game 2 will be Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m. EST on TNT.