Last “Fan React,” San Antonio Spurs fans wanted changes in the starting line up after noticing the fire the bench brought.
And that is exactly what they got as the electric Spurs triumphed over the exhausted Oklahoma City Thunder, 117-89.
Although Boris Diaw, who was the popular choice being mentioned amongst Spurs fandom to start, did not – the use of the Matt Bonner seemed to be a good replacement pawn for Tiago Splitter in Popovich’s chess game. The presence of the “Red Mamba” was intended to spread out the floor for the Spurs and lessen the impact of Serge Ibaka.
Although Bonner failed to score, it gave Diaw time to level up and take charge. With Popovich’s crafty and much needed adjustments, Game 5 looked more like the Spurs’ basketball fans were hungry for since Game 3.
Need more proof other than the final score?
Last night, the Spurs shot 71 percent in the paint, which is their record high for this post season. Besides winning the overall game, they were also victorious in the points-in-the-paint contest, outscoring the Thunder, 40-36. Ibaka’s defense was also weakened as he was limited to only two blocks during Game 5 which is his lowest while defending the Spurs in the regular and post-season combined.
Tim Duncan lead the team with 22 points and 12 rebounds during his 29 minutes of playing time, making it known that he is the big man of the AT&T Center. Manu Ginobili seemed to keep his fire lit and came in second in leading points with 19.
After witnessing two heartbreaking losses, to say Spurs fans were happy would be an understatement. Game 5 was a “must win,” for the team and they knew it. As usual, they had much to say post-game about the glorious 28 point blowout via Twitter.
When asked how they felt seconds after the buzzer, here’s how they sounded off:
“Sooooooo much better! Sigh of relief!” – @2ten210
“Relieved! I feel like I can breathe now.” – @katiegarza_03
“Pop will never say it, but I will. I’m happy with the performance!” – @josh_the_truth
“I’m pumped up and 100% confident we’re going back to the Finals! We’re making it all this year!” – @hashtag_gracy
“Loved this win. The blow out was a great way to tell the world this isn’t 2012.” – @kramsta1
“Great example of pounding the rock. Built a four point lead, kept pounding. Built it bigger and bigger until the rock finally split.” – @SpursfanSteve
They also chimed in on what they believed was the difference in Game 5:
“Has to be putting a stretch four in the starting lineup. But intensity will be the key in Game 6.” – @JayP_Lugo
“Fearlessness, strong play, Diaw.” – @drakecaudill
“Aggressiveness and sharing the ball the way they did all season long.” – @youdontknowbang
As the Spurs have regained control of the series, they have moved one step closer to making talk of 2012 history.