As the Spurs chase their fifth title in the past 15 years, they continue to make history along the way.
On Thursday night, the trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker won their 111th career playoff game together. It is an NBA record, surpassing the Lakers trio of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Cooper.
"I feel very lucky and blessed to be healthy and playing all those years and having another opportunity to try to go to the NBA Finals," Parker said. "We take nothing for granted. We know how lucky we are, and hopefully we can keep it going."
JONES SEES EXTENDED MINUTES
Desperate for any kind of spark, Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks continued to tinker with his rotations on Wednesday night.
That included, for the first time in this postseason, a meaningful appearance from Perry Jones. The second-year forward played the entire second quarter, a 12-minute stretch in which the Thunder got smoked 34-18.
Overall, Jones played 24 minutes, contributing two points and four rebounds, providing little impact on a night when none of his teammates really did, either.
DIAW SAYS THUNDER GAVE UP
Following the Spurs' 35-point win on Wednesday, the worst Thunder playoff loss in OKC history, San Antonio forward Boris Diaw was asked why things came so easily for his club.
And within his answer, he had a telling tidbit about the Thunder's effort.
"I think they gave up on this game a pretty early," Diaw said. "And we kept it going."
In the basketball world, there aren’t many things that can be done in 0.1 seconds.
But the past two nights, two teams have executed unlikely out of bounds plays to perfection, getting tip-ins in a split second.
On Tuesday, it was Indiana’s Lance Stephenson right before halftime, flying in for a quick tap on a lob. On Wednesday, it was the Thunder’s Nick Collison, flinging in a one-hand over the shoulder tap from the baseline.
DURANT ENDORSES FISHER AS A COACH
As Derek Fisher competes in what could be the final postseason run of his playing career, there continues to be rumblings about his after-basketball life.
Labeled as the frontrunner for the Knicks head-coaching job, Fisher continues to shoo away questions about his interest in the opening, holding them off until the offseason while he continues his quest for a sixth title.
But count Kevin Durant among those who think his current teammate would make a great coach.
“Without a doubt,” Durant told the New York Post. “He’s a smart guy, smart mind. He’s a great motivator, great speaker and can really relate to a lot of guys and demands that respect from everybody. He’s a great locker-room guy. I’m sure he’ll do a great job.”
IBAKA’S BLOG POST
On Wednesday morning, injured Thunder forward Serge Ibaka sent out a blog post on his website (SergeIbaka.com), updating fans on his status.
Here’s the full post by Ibaka:
“As you all know, I suffered an injury in the sixth game of the Conference Semifinals against the Los Angeles Clippers. This means I am not able to play in the Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. It’s a difficult moment because this is the most important time of the year. All the work done during the summer and preparation during the season is focused on being ready and at your best when the Playoffs arrive, so it’s obviously disappointing not to be able to help my team on the court. But injuries are part of the game and the only way to go through this is to stay positive and try to be healthy as soon as possible.
“All players and coaching staff feel the Thunder is a family, and I have no doubt my ‘family member’ will put in a great effort in this difficult series. We are all the Thunder and we take pride in staying together against adversity. I will watch and cheer for them as their brother and their fan. Also, a lot of people have shown me support the last few days and I feel very fortunate to have such amazing fans. Thank you!”
BROOKS CONTINUES TO SHOOT DOWN IBAKA RETURN
Despite reports suggesting otherwise – and even a minor hint by Ibaka in his blog post – Brooks continues to contend that the power forward will not be available at any point in the playoffs.
Not even in a potential NBA Finals series.
“He's not coming back. Nothing has changed. And it's no reason to keep bringing this up. He's not coming back.”
STAT OF THE DAY
This is the second time the Thunder has gone down 2-0 in a series in the past four seasons. Both have been to San Antonio in the Western Conference Finals.
Game 3 is not until Sunday night in Oklahoma City, giving the teams three days off. Tip is at 7:30 p.m. Oklahoma time on TNT.