The San Antonio Spurs beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 120-111 Tuesday night to go up 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals.
The Spurs led by 16 entering the fourth and survived a furious Thunder comeback attempt to hold on for the win.
The Thunder cut the deficit down to six with 5:39 left in the game but that would be as close as they got.
The Spurs scored 37 points in the third quarter and led by as many as 22 points. The Thunder would turn to a hack-a-Splitter at the end of the third which helped them start to comeback.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 31 points to go with five assists and five rebounds. Durant had just four points in the fourth quarter though.
James Harden had a nice bounce-back game with 30 off the bench and was 10-of-13 from the field and the line.
Russell Westbrook struggled again for the most part shooting and containing Tony Parker. He would finish with 31 points, eight assists and seven rebounds and improved his defense on Parker in the fourth quarter.
Parker was the catalyst for San Antonio with 34 points and eight assists and was 16-of-21 from the field.
The Spurs shot 55.1 percent from the field in the game while the Thunder only shot 42.0 percent. The Thunder attempted 36 free throws in the game, had 16 offensive rebounds and had 26 fast break points.
The Thunder went on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 112-105 with 1:52 to play before Manu Ginobili stepped up and made a huge three on the next possession.
Ginobili scored 20 points off the bench and was again a really tough cover for Harden.
The Thunder did play small again in the second half but did it with Serge Ibaka on the floor. Ibaka was absent for the final 16 minutes of Game 1 but played a big role in this game with eight points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.
Ibaka played better defense on Tim Duncan than he did in the first game and allowed the Thunder to go to a defense where they could switch on almost every pick-and-roll.
When the Thunder turned up their defensive intensity, they once again gave their fans a glimpse of their potential and showed everyone why they have the highest ceiling in the league.
The Thunder have made huge strides this season but the Spurs are reminding them that their journey for a championship isn’t complete yet.
This series is far from over however heading back to Oklahoma City for Games 3 and 4. The Thunder have shown signs of how to beat the Spurs and if they can put an entire game together they could turn this series right around.
Game 3 will be Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. EST on TNT.
Tags: Featured Game 2 James Harden Kevin Durant Manu Ginobili NBA Playoffs Oklahoma City Thunder Popular Russell Westbrook San Antonio Spurs Serge Ibaka Tim Duncan Tony Parker Western Conference Finals