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OKC Thunder: Spurs get a taste of their own 'nasty' medicine

On a night when the boys in blue had to find a way to win to extend their season much beyond the weekend, they not only beat the Spurs but also changed the complexion of this series. They did it with defense. They did it with execution. They did it with nasty.
by Jenni Carlson Published: June 1, 2012

It didn't equate to a win, but the fact that the Thunder made a game out of it was a huge accomplishment.

Thursday night, they brought the fight from the beginning. Thabo Sefolosha came up with steals. Perkins forced turnovers. Russell Westbrook pushed the ball in transition. Kevin Durant finished with authority.

And that was just in the first three minutes of the game.

Even though the Spurs fought back from a big early deficit, the Thunder just kept coming. Eventually, the lead grew to double digits. Then, it went to 20. Then, it went to blowout status.

The Spurs sat four of their five starters the entire fourth quarter.

“They really attacked us and got us on our heels,” Spurs big man Tim Duncan said. “I don't know if that's Xs and Os or energy or whatever.

“That's just them playing better than we did.”

Popovich said, “They beat us good.”

Funny how the way that the Thunder won Game 3 has changed the whole tenor of this series. A day ago, everyone on the Thunder Bandwagon wondered if the ride would be over before the week was. A Spurs sweep seemed entirely possible.

But now? Who couldn't see the Thunder winning again Saturday and sending this series back to San Antonio knotted at two? Nothing's a foregone conclusion with a Spurs team this good, but suddenly, the Thunder doesn't seem to be out of its league. Winning another game or two seems likely. Making this a series seems possible.

“We came out with the sense of urgency that we need to play with for the rest of the series,” Durant said. “It's all about fighting.”

Bring the Thunder?


Bring the nasty.

by Jenni Carlson
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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