Post-game reactionBoth coaches talked about the momentum swings in an overtime game in which the Spurs owned the lead most of the game, including a 19-point cushion. But the Thunder had chances to escape with a win. "Thank you, thank you, thank you to the basketball gods for allowing us to win,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "Either team could have won the game. That’s why they call it a game. All kinds of junk can happen down the stretch. And crazy things did happen.” San Antonio won thanks to Manu Ginobili’s, diving, game-saving scramble for a loose ball in the waning seconds. That set up Richard Jefferson’s go-ahead 12-footer with 9.1 seconds left. It wasn’t secure, though, until Russell Westbrook missed an open 15-footer at the buzzer. "What a game,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "It was too bad it had to end with one team losing. It was a good experience for our guys, but (the Spurs) have been in a lot of playoff battles. They’ve played a lot of games in June.”
OFFENSIVE REBOUNDING WOESSimilar to two losses to Houston and an overtime loss to Milwaukee, the inability to get a defensive rebound was a factor. The Spurs finished with 18 offensive rebounds, three in overtime. "A lot of it is that first step, second effort,” said Oklahoma City’s Jeff Green. "DeJuan Blair is a beast down there. It’s just us making the effort to get the ball. We didn’t do a great job of that.”
BAD STARTOklahoma City played catch up all night because of a horrible first quarter in which the Spurs scored 35 points. That matches the most OKC has allowed in any quarter all season. The Lakers did it in a pre-Christmas shootout at the Staples Center.
VALIANT COMEBACKNo one in the Thunder locker room was satisfied with the overtime loss, but all agreed that overcoming a 19-point deficit to take the lead late in the third quarter, then overcoming another eight-point deficit with 3:30 to play was another example how Oklahoma City refuses to fold. "I like the spirit about our team,” Brooks said. "We’re not going to give up. When we got down by (19), we could have said, ‘This is one of those games we just don’t have it.’ But we have a great spirit, a great mentality that we’re going to keep fighting.” Kevin Durant said: "Our team doesn’t like to take moral victories, but I’m obviously proud of the way we fought.”
SHORTHANDED SPURSPerennial All-Star forward Tim Duncan, who has battled knee issues in recent years, was given the night off. Veteran forwards Michael Finley and Matt Bonner were inactive. Duncan had played 29 consecutive games the past two months dating back to the first meeting with Oklahoma City on Nov. 11. "It’s time to start (resting Duncan),” Popovich said. "It’s the second half of the season... He started it last summer when he started his workouts a month later. We’re going to continue it by making him sit out more back-to-backs than we have before. We’ll see if it pays dividends come playoff time.”
SPURS: NO GHOST STORIES AT SKIRVINThe Spurs arrived late Tuesday night and stayed at the Skirvin, the same hotel a few Knicks players said was haunted when they stayed there Sunday night. "I heard about that,” said Spurs guard Manu Ginobili. "It adds a little flavor. But I slept like a baby.”
FAST BREAK...The Thunder is 0-3 in overtime. ... For only the second time this season, OKC lost a game in which it scores 100 points. For the second consecutive game, Byron Mullens and Kevin Ollie were active while D.J. White was inactive, dressed in street clothes. Mullens and Ollie did not play.