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OKC Thunder: Gregg Popovich knew Thunder would not quit

San Antonio coach said before Game 3: “The 2-0 (series deficit) won't faze them. They'll come out and play a great game at home. It will reinforce their confidence and their approach.”
by Ryan Aber Published: May 31, 2012


Given the Thunder's 102-82 victory in Game 3 on Thursday night, evidently San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich wasn't kidding during his Wednesday interview session before his team flew to OKC:

Q: Describe Oklahoma City for us. What are the challenges of playing …

Popovich: “It's flat. It's clean. Good people. Nice place to live. That's really all I know about it.”

Q: How about the team?

Popovich: “One hell of a team. Maybe the hardest team we've ever played against to guard. Unbelievably talented, committed. They're aggressive, they're physical. Obviously, wellcoached. It's a team that creates a myriad of problems and they're consistent. They just keep coming at you. They're in the Western Conference finals for a reason.”

Q: Will they play better at home?

Popovich: “I hope they don't. Chances are they will, but it's not like they've played badly and we've played well. It's a game of changing momentum and runs and that sort of thing. We've scored down the stretches in fourth quarters when we needed to. That was fortunate for us. Who knows if that's because you're at home or because you executed well. It's always a little bit of both. The 20 won't faze them. They'll come out and play a great game at home.  It will reinforce their confidence and their approach. So it will be a heck of a Game 3.”


As the TNT crew of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal and Kenny Smith did their postgame show over the southwest tunnel at Chesapeake Energy Arena, a crowd of roughly 500 people stayed behind for roughly an hour to observe, applaud, cheer and chant whenever it seemed appropriate.


Thunder reserve guard Derek Fisher passed former teammate Kobe Bryant to the No. 3 spot on the all-time list for career playoff games with 221. Fisher trails only Robert Horry (244) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (237).

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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