OKC Thunder notebook: NBA commissioner Adam Silver says Kevin Durant 'embodies what this league is all about'

by Berry Tramel and Jenni Carlson and Anthony Slater Published: May 20, 2014


photo - Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant poses for a photo with the MVP trophy during a news conference announcing  Durant as the winner of the 2013-14 Kia NBA Basketball Most Value Player Award in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant poses for a photo with the MVP trophy during a news conference announcing Durant as the winner of the 2013-14 Kia NBA Basketball Most Value Player Award in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

SPURS REACH MILESTONES

The Game 1 victory gave the Spur trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker 110 playoff wins together, matching the NBA record set by the Lakers’ Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Cooper.

“It’s a wonderful accomplishment, as are a lot of things that we've done as a trio,” Duncan said. “But our only focus as far as we're concerned right now is winning this series and moving on.”

Also Monday, Parker had 12 assists, moving past Isiah Thomas into 10th place in NBA history for playoff assists. Parker now has 994 assists. Parker needs just 68 more assists to catch Larry Bird for fourth all-time. The record-holder is Johnson, with 2,346.

“It feels like a dream,” said Parker. “Coming from France and to arrive and accomplish all that. I feel very lucky and very blessed to be a part of a great organization and a great team, and being healthy all those years, and to pass a point guard that I really admired growing up, one of my favorite players, is just a great honor.”

GINOBILI BREAKS OUT

Another Thunder-Spurs Western Conference Finals. Another breakout performance by Ginobili. The 36-year-old Spur had 18 points, all in the second half, in Game 1. Ginobili averaged just 12.3 in the regular season. In the 2012 Thunder-Spurs series, Ginobili averaged 18.5 points a game, despite averaging just 12.9 during the regular season.

Ginobili said he wasn’t pressing in the first half Monday night: “Not at all. I didn’t have the opportunities to score a lot. Missed two layups, but the team was paying great. We scored 67. Of course, I always want to score more and play better. But that wasn’t the issue. The issue was we had to be ready for the run, because they were going to make a run, and we had to stay focused. And if in that second half I get to make the shots, great.”

PARKER FEELS GOOD

Parker has been battling a sore hamstring, but it didn’t seem to bother him in Game 1.

“I was concerned,” Parker said. “I didn't know how I was going to feel until we started the game.”

Parker said he realized early in the game it would feel fine. The hamstring tightened up some in the fourth quarter, he said, but by then the Spurs had the game in hand.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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