OKC Thunder: New Spurs battle cry is 'I want some nasty'

A 20-second sound bite of San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich addressing his team during a fourth-quarter timeout went viral on YouTube after Game of the Western Conference Finals.
BY JOHN ROHDE, DARNELL MAYBERRY AND BERRY TRAMEL, Staff Writers Published: May 28, 2012
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In matchup between two of the league's premier point guards, Parker said he was pleased with how well things went against Westbrook in the opener.

“Yeah, but he's going to come back very strong (Tuesday),” Parker said. “He missed some shots that he usually makes. I think maybe he was a little bit rusty from not playing for a week, and I expect him to bounce back and have a big game (Tuesday).”

HELLO, GOVERNOR

In Game 1, Ginobili crashed into the front row of seats and was helped to his feet by a variety of dignitaries — Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Spurs chairman Peter Holt and his wife, Julianna.

“I knew somebody helped me out, but I didn't know it was the governor,” Ginobili said.

SPLITTER'S SPARK

The Spurs' 39-point, fourth-quarter explosion began with a spurt from an unlikely source off the bench.

Reserve center Tiago Splitter scored back-to-back layups, drew an offensive charge, grabbed a rebound and shot four free throws, all in a span of 2:06, as San Antonio was off on a 20-5 spurt at the outset of the period.

“Splitter's two layups were huge, and his minutes were good,” Brooks said. “I thought he was a big part of their win.”

Though the last five points came on three intentional fouls, Brooks was still thoroughly disgusted with his team defense.

After attempting just seven free throws through the first three quarters, the Spurs went to the free-throw line 18 times in the fourth quarter alone.

“Nobody expects to score 39 points in a quarter,” Popovich said.

THRIFTY THIRD

The Thunder's best quarter no doubt was the third quarter, when it outscored the Spurs 24-16 and held them to 25.0 percent (6 for 24) from the floor and 18.2 percent (2 for 11) from 3-point range, and OKC did so primarily with its starting lineup.

Playing 7:59 in the third quarter, Serge Ibaka had four rebounds and three points, which included an authoritative dunk over Duncan off a sweet Durant assist on the first possession of the second half.

“In the third quarter, we were playing real aggressive and getting some easy points in the paint,” said Ibaka, who left at the 4:01 mark of the third period and never returned.

ALL FOR ONE

Brooks and his players have often explained that when it comes to playing defense, if one guy breaks down in his assignment, the entire defense breaks down.

Asked if such was the case in the fourth quarter of Game 1, Brooks said: “It was multiple guys. Not enough pressure on the ball. Not enough help off the ball. That and a combination of Ginobili is not a good recipe for success.”

QUOTABLE

Jackson on surviving Game 1 with a fourth-quarter comeback: “We were probably more nervous than they were (Sunday night) because we know these young guys can play.”

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