Oklahoma City Thunder: Spurs prove it's hard to win in West

by Berry Tramel Modified: May 23, 2014 at 9:53 am •  Published: May 23, 2014
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photo - San Antonio's Manu Ginobili (20) gets by Oklahoma City's Reggie Jackson (15) during Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Photo by Sarah Phipps
San Antonio's Manu Ginobili (20) gets by Oklahoma City's Reggie Jackson (15) during Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Photo by Sarah Phipps

The 2013 NBA Finals still haunt San Antonio Spur fans and anti-Miami Heat fans. The Spurs had the Heat beat in Game 6, with a 3-2 series lead. Then Kawhi Leonard missed what could have been a clinching foul shot, the Spurs twice failed to corral what would have been a clinching rebound and Ray Allen hit a corner 3-pointer to send the game into overtime. Miami won Game 6, then won Game 7, and the Spurs’ title quest continues.

But does that disappointment still haunt the Spurs themselves?

Manu Ginobili was asked that very question.

“Now it’s in the back of my mind because you said it,” Ginobili said. “But I’m telling you, I’m having enough trouble thinking about Durant, Westbrook and the OKC Thunder to be thinking about 11 months ago. It’s in the past. I want to have the same opportunity again, to see if we can get it. And if we don’t, at least I put all our effort on trying to get there again.”

It’s amazing that the Spurs went six years between NBA Finals trips. They won the 2007 title, then didn’t win the West again until 2013. Now they’re two wins away from eliminating the Thunder and making another Finals.

Here’s how San Antonio’s seasons ended between 2007 and 2013:

2008: As a No. 3 seed, the Spurs beat the No. 2 New Orleans Hornets in the West semifinals, then lost 4-1 to the Lakers in the West finals.

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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 Oklahoman,...
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