The San Antonio Spurs have opened the Western Conference Finals with a huge 122-105 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
OKC’s few claps of thunder in the second half were no match for the perfect storm that became the Spurs. With a whopping 66 points in the paint and almost every player contributing, including Danny Green and Manu Ginobili, the Spurs made Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals look like a breeze. Suddenly, the Thunder’s sweep of the Spurs in the regular season became a thing of the past.
In a nutshell, Tim Duncan dominated the paint with Serge Ibaka missing, Tony Parker’s hamstring issues did not stop his usual performance, Kawhi Leonard stole balls and spun with them, “SuperManu” made his return, and Green showed all who tuned in why fans lovingly deemed him “Gr33n.”
As for the Thunder, Nick Collison, Ibaka’s replacement, ended the game scoreless along with Thabo Sefolosha. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook could not carry their team against the Spurs.
Although San Antonio finished strong and gave fans an almost completely stress-free game-watching experience, there was a bit of a struggle early in the second half when the Thunder took the lead for a brief period. With a Game 1 blowout win under their belts, Project Spurs asked fans who or what they thought was the game changer that led the Spurs to a 17 point victory.
“Kawhi’s aggressiveness really changed the game. It made KD work on both sides. It was a huge game change.” – @jon123spurs
“Aaron Baynes for sure!” -@ericsolisss
“Coach Pop. Thunder threw many different lineups to change things up. Pop outmatched them. Manu also woke up in the 2nd half. Invigorating the rest of the team and waking up the fans.” -@Batmancanseeyou
“Aaron Baynes set the tone physically.” -@CrezyRezy
“Manu finally showed up second half…and Timmy was Timmy of course.” -@CzarZaerr
“Unnoticed Baynes gave them a solid productive min. at the end of the 3rd into the 4th.” – @SJROB300
“Ka-WOW and Danny finding his shot.” – @Evol210
The reactions of fans reflected exactly what happened last night; everyone came to play. The San Antonio Spurs earn their wins as a team, with an active bench to help the starting line up and the legendary intellect from the Coach of the Year.