There was more of the same in the second half.
“You have to be able to deal with all five guys,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “You can’t have two or three defenders on the floor.”
Six Spurs finished scoring in double figures — Tim Duncan (22), Manu Ginobili (19), Kawhi Leonard (14), Danny Green (14), Boris Diaw (13) and Tony Parker (12).
For the Thunder, only Kevin Durant (25), Russell Westbrook (21) and Reggie Jackson (11) managed double digits, and Jackson didn’t score a point after the first quarter.
If the Thunder is to win this series, it must win back-to-back elimination games, first in Oklahoma City at 7:30 Saturday night, then in San Antonio on Monday. While the trend of only the home team winning games in this series could be bad news for the Thunder, the good news is that it has experience with this back-against-the-wall scenario. The Grizzlies led the Thunder 3-2 in their first-round playoff series, but the Thunder won Game 6 in Memphis and Game 7 in Oklahoma City to keep its season alive.
Now, it must do the same again.
“We’ve been in this position before,” Perkins said. “We’ve just got to stay focused. We’ll be all right.”