Thunder-Spurs: The Peake was louder than it's ever been

OKC coach Scott Brooks rubbed both temples and softly said: ‘Oh. My. God.'
by Berry Tramel and Ryan Aber and Darnell Mayberry Published: June 6, 2012

Jackson's offense?

“I'm having fun (expletive, expletive),” Jackson yelled, laughing, while right in front of the Thunder bench.

Durant made the technical free throw, then Russell Westbrook hit a long jumper to cut the Spurs lead to 74-69, their smallest lead since more than 4:30 remained in the first quarter.

Jackson's 3-pointer was one of six he hit on his way to 23 points off the bench.

GINOBILI STARTS AGAIN

For the second consecutive game in the series, the Spurs started Ginobili.

“He's definitely a big challenge when he's on the floor,” Brooks said. “He's one of the greatest competitors of all time, the way he attacks the game on both ends. He's feisty, scrappy, makes big plays.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said the decision was simple.

“We want him to play more,” Popovich said. “One would want to have their best players on the court as much as possible and starting him allowed me to do that, and we'll do the same again tonight.”

Popovich wasn't worried about how the switch affected his rotation.

“The second unit isn't guys that are just getting into the game for the first time,” Popovich said. “They've been playing all year long, so it's really not much of a factor.”

CRAWFORD TAKES PLAYOFF LEAD

Joey Crawford is the most well-known referee in the NBA.

In general, that's not a good thing for a referee's name to be widely known.

He has the reputation in the league for having a short temper and a quick whistle.

But Crawford clearly has the respect of the NBA.

Wednesday night's game was the 13th for Crawford to work during this season's playoffs, an NBA high.

Scott Foster, Ken Mauer and Monty McCuthen have called 12 games in the postseason.

It was also Crawford's fourth Thunder game. He called Game 1 against Dallas, Game 3 against the Lakers and Game 1 against the Spurs.

SPURS' NEAL ABLE TO PLAY

Gary Neal missed the Spurs' charter flight to Oklahoma City on Tuesday due to an illness.

He also missed the Wednesday's shootaround but warmed up before the game and wound up entering the game late in the first quarter.

Neal wound up playing 10 minutes in the first half, with six points a steal and an assist.

Early in the second quarter, he was fouled by Durant before making a 3-foot jumper. The bucket was counted, drawing boos from the Thunder crowd.

Neal played more than 19 minutes, scoring seven points.

DURANT DRAWS FIRST CHARGE

With just more than eight minutes to go in the game and the Thunder up four points, Durant stepped in front of Ginobili in the lane, drawing a charge.

“That’s his first charge of the year,” Westbrook chimed in before Durant could speak when Durant was asked about it afterward.

“I was going to say that Russ,” Durant answered. “That was my first charge of the year. I just wanted to go out there and sacrifice my body for the team. I knew that would give us a little spark. Manu’s an unbelievable player at twisting his body and making crazy shots.

“I could tell they were excited when I got my first one when I got to the bench.”

BY JOHN ROHDE, RYAN ABER, DARNELL MAYBERRY AND BERRY TRAMEL

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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by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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