May 19, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots the ball as San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) defends in game one of the Western Conference Finals in the 2014 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Thunder Fall In Game 1 As The Loss Of Serge Ibaka Was Evident

May 19, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili (20) shoots the ball past Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) in game one of the Western Conference Finals in the 2014 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder fought. The Thunder battled. The Thunder made it interesting. The Thunder showed positive life. The Thunder missed Serge Ibaka.

The Spurs took Game 1, 122-105 to take an early 1-0 series lead.

The final score doesn’t speak volume to the actual game, though. After a Russell Westbrook pull-up jumper, Oklahoma City took a 76-75 lead mid-way through the third quarter. Through the first three quarters, the Thunder were within seven for a majority of the time.

Hats off to the Spurs, as they played great basketball tonight, though. Six of their guys were in double figures and all 10 guys who played scored. The Spurs finished with 28 assists, when the Thunder had just 17. San Antonio shot 57% from field, and 53% from deep. That shouldn’t continue night in and night out. Or at least I hope not.

However, the loss of Serge Ibaka was evident tonight as San Antonio dominated the paint and controlled the glass all night. The Spurs won the rebounding category 40-37. Tim Duncan went for 27 points and seven rebounds to lead the bigs for the Spurs.

The best and most important conclusion from Game 1 is this: The Thunder showed they can outplay the Spurs, as at times San Antonio has no answer for Durant and Westbrook. However, the loss of Serge Ibaka was exposed as the Spurs absolutely dominated the paint. No worries, though. The goal was to come into San Antonio and split. Game 1 showed some positive life, and Game 2 would be a great chance to even up the series and accomplish the goal of winning one of two on the road.

Extra Notes:

-OKC went down early 14-7 in the first, but the game turned around when Adams Jackson and Butler checked in. The Thunder had a great second half of the first quarter and were right where they needed to be on the road down three, 30-27.

-Jeremy Lamb checked into the game at the 11:09 mark of the second quarter. He didn’t do much of anything, but it was cool to see Scott Brooks find him time.

-Danny Green hits the most ridiculous shots.

-Derek Fisher came in and gave OKC a spark in the first quarter: 11 points in seven minutes.

-Scott Brooks is put into a tough decision. Do you go small and look to score yet have difficulties defending San Antonio’s bigs? Or do you go big and hope KD and Westbrook can produce points?

Game 2 is Wednesday night. Keep your head high Thunder fans; the Spurs were supposed to win Game 1 at home.

 

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Tags: NBA Playoffs Oklahoma City Thunder San Antonio Spurs Serge Ibaka Western Conference Finals

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