SAN ANTONIO – The Spurs turned nasty just in the nick of time. Now it's the Thunder's turn.
Game 1 of the NBA's Western Conference Finals went San Antonio's way Sunday night. The Spurs won 101-98 after coach Gregg Popovich's “I want some nasty” speech captured his team's attention and his city's fancy.
The Alamo City is abuzz about Popovich's plea to his team, which inspired a Spurs comeback from a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit. They're talking websites and T-shirts and the latest motivational ploy from one of the greatest coaches in basketball history.
“I just wanted us to get off our heels,” Popovich said Monday. “I thought we were playing unconfidently, not in a very aggressive mode. We weren't moving the ball, we were holding the ball, weren't making quick decisions.”
In other words, a lot like the Thunder played in the fourth quarter. Which must change if the Thunder wants to return to Oklahoma City with the best-of-7 series tied. Game 2 is at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Spurs' AT&T Center.
“I think we played hard all four quarters until that last spurt, where we gave up points and didn't move the ball,” said the Thunder's James Harden. “It's just about playing hard. We've just got to bounce back and be ready.”