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OKC Thunder searching for answers after Spurs roll to authoritative victory

SAN ANTONIO 120, OKLAHOMA CITY 111 — Tony Parker and the Spurs dismantled the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. The Spurs used their bread-and-butter pick-and-roll offense and pinpoint ball movement to jump to a 2-0 series edge.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: May 30, 2012

What do you do?

That's the question coach Scott Brooks, his staff and every last member of the Oklahoma City Thunder must be asking themselves.

Fans, too.

What on earth do you do to stop the San Antonio Spurs?

After an encouraging debut in this Western Conference final, the Thunder left San Antonio still in search of a successful scheme to slow down the red-hot Spurs.

San Antonio held serve at home and seized a 2-0 series lead with an authoritative 120-111 win in Game 2 on Tuesday night inside the AT&T Center.

It was the 20th consecutive win for the Spurs, who have not suffered defeat since April 11, and their 11th straight at home.

In this latest victory, like many of the 19 before it, the Spurs scored in every way imaginable en route to a lead that ballooned to as many as 22 points. Not once did the scoreboard show the Thunder owning more points than the Spurs.

“Our guys played hard,” said Brooks. “Unfortunately, we came away with nothing the last few days.”

Oklahoma City must now win four of the final five games to advance to the NBA Finals for the first time.

If the Thunder is to get to there, it must first find an answer to the riddle that is exposing every flaw

San Antonio sliced through the Thunder's defense with ease throughout Game 2 just like the Spurs, and guard Manu Ginobili in particular, did in the fourth quarter of Game 1. The Spurs shot 55.1 percent from the field and scored a mind-blowing 65 second-half points against a Thunder squad that wants to pride itself on being a defensive-minded team.

All the while, nothing the Thunder tried provided any resistance against San Antonio's onslaught. If it wasn't one thing, such as the pick-and-roll, for instance, it was another that torched the Thunder, like the Spurs pinpoint ball movement, for example.

And what's got to be scary for the Thunder and everyone who bleeds Thunder blue is that even coach Gregg Popovich, a championship coach four times over, confesses that this is his best offensive team.

“We've had good ball movement with other teams that we've had here, but I think that the combination of penetrate and pitch and post-up with Timmy (Duncan) is probably the best that we've had,” Popovich said. “Other teams were more halfcourt. This team has more pace to it that what we've had in the past.”

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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