Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (0) takes a shot between San Antonio's Tony Parker (9) and Tim Duncan (21) during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Friday, March 16, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
San Antonio built its big lead by abusing the Thunder on the glass (49-37 for the game), turning second chance opportunities into 24 points and getting high percentage shots throughout before finishing with 54 paint points.
Spurs forward Tim Duncan had 16 points, a game-high 19 rebounds and five blocks, and frontcourt mate DeJuan Blair scored 22 points with 11 rebounds.
But it was the unexpected duo of Tony Parker and Danny Green that stole the show. Parker orchestrated the pick-and-roll brilliantly and gave OKC fits with his midrange jumper and passing. He finished with a team-high 25 points with seven assists and four rebounds.
Green, meanwhile, was a perpetual pest and a problem all night for the Thunder. He scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and added five steals, four rebounds and a blocked shot.
All five Spurs starters scored at least 15 points and had at least four rebounds and one assist.
Still, despite the Spurs’ seemingly insurmountable lead, the Thunder got within two points on three occasions in the final 10 minutes. The Spurs, however, scored after each Thunder bucket that lifted OKC within two. None was bigger than Duncan’s answer to a big-time 3-pointer by Durant. Duncan scored on a turnaround bank shot while getting fouled by Serge Ibaka. He missed the free throw but gave the Spurs a 109-105 lead with one minute remaining.
Green then sealed the win when he intercepted a Harden inbounds pass to Russell Westbrook and streaked the other way for a fast break dunk.
“They have been together for a while. They know how to play with each other and have been doing it for a long time,” Westbrook said. “We are trying to get where they are.”