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A tough opening night for Thunder

BY Darnell Mayberry Published: November 2, 2012
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/articleid/3724771/1/pictures/1873422">Photo - San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker (9), of France, shoots a buzzer-beating basket over Oklahoma City Thunder's Serge Ibaka, center, at the close of the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 86-84. Spurs' Tim Duncan, second from left, and Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins (5) watch. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) ORG XMIT: TXEG115
San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker (9), of France, shoots a buzzer-beating basket over Oklahoma City Thunder's Serge Ibaka, center, at the close of the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 86-84. Spurs' Tim Duncan, second from left, and Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins (5) watch. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) ORG XMIT: TXEG115

“I got lost,” said Thunder guard Russell Westbrook. “My fault. I’ll take this one.”

Moments earlier, Parker buried the game-tying 3-pointer with 28.3 seconds left, giving the Spurs new life right when they appeared to be doomed by a broken play. Spurs guard Danny Green nearly threw the ball out of bounds while trying to feed a wide open Boris Diaw underneath the rim. Diaw, however, saved the ball directly to Parker behind the left corner and the Spurs point guard coolly knocked down a 3.

“The 3 was a scramble play,” Brooks said. “You give them credit. It ended up he was able to save that and find the shooter in the corner. He made a tough shot. That’s not one of his strengths, shooting 3s. But he stepped up and knocked it in.”

The Thunder couldn’t rely on its biggest strength on this night, a potent offensive attack. OKC shot just 37.7 percent against one of the league’s perennially tough defenses. Much of the Thunder’s struggles stemmed from turnovers (18) and a night of a few poor shot or downright dominance in the paint by San Antonio.

“They’re a really good defensive team, but we got layups we missed, we missed some wide-open 3s and some wide open jumpers,” Durant said. “But that’s how the game goes. I think we put ourselves in a position to win. If we’re not making shots, we still play defense and I think we did that.”

The shooting woes didn’t define the debut of Martin, who scored 15 points on 4-for-10 shooting, going 3-for-6 from beyond the arc.

“He is an unbelievable player,” said Durant. “He came in and played his role to a tee. He passed the ball; five assists, a couple of rebounds and he shot the ball well. That’s what we need from him all season.”


Read the rest of the story on Oklahoman.com
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