TNT game analyst Steve Kerr said the genesis of the Spurs’ 117-89 rout of the Thunder in Game 5 on Thursday night actually came in the fourth quarter of Game 4. The Spurs’ second-half comeback in that game forced Thunder coach Scott Brooks to to play his starters most of the game.
“This was a moral victory (for the Spurs) that definitely played a factor tonight,” Kerr said.
Kerr said the Thunder looked fatigued in the series in which the home team has dominated.
“We’re not seeing a pressure defense. We’re not seeing a sense of purpose.”
Kerr came close to predicting the Thunder would win Game 6 on Saturday night, igniting a friendly argument with analyst Reggie Miller and play-by-play announcer Marv Albert. “There’s a pretty good chance they will be back here in four days for Game 7,” Kerr said.
Kerr noted that “Oklahoma City is a much younger team” and had dominated the Spurs in OKC, winning nine in a row.
Miller joked that Kerr, who is leaving TNT to become coach of the Golden State Warriors, might have worked too long with Albert.
“It’s time to move on,” Kerr said.
•Studio analyst Charles Barkley noted that Brooks needed to find a way to get better bench play since Reggie Jackson moved into the starting lineup. He said he needed to change his rotation to find a way to get Jackson, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook more playing time with the second unit.
At halftime Barkley noted that when the Thunder went to its bench, “that’s when they lost their momentum.”
Barkley also said he was surprised by the continued home-court blowouts. “The level of consistency in the way the guys are playing at home and on the road is startling.”
•Studio analyst Shaquille O’Neal noted that Serge Ibaka was less effective in Game 5. “The jumper was off and he didn’t get that many blocks.”
O’Neal said “the Spurs are super effective when they have more than three passes.”
•Fox Sports Oklahoma analyst Nancy Lieberman noted the Spurs ball movement was much better: “They were tougher to the basket, collapsing the defense… Their spacing was better than it’s been the last two games.”