SAN ANTONIO — With 3.9 seconds remaining in the first half, Tony Parker threw an outlet pass to Manu Ginobili. As the Thunder lollygagged back on defense — unconcerned or unconvinced that the Spurs could convert a high-percentage shot with so few ticks left on the clock following Kevin Durant's missed layup — Ginobili darted up the left sideline.
Ginobili pulled up from 31 feet on the left wing and coolly canned one of his patented leaning, lefty buzzer-beaters. It gave the Spurs a 10-point lead and capped San Antonio's 12-5 run to end the half.
Five of the Spurs' points during the run, and 22 in the opening 24 minutes, came in similar fashion.
As in six seconds or less.
And by the final buzzer, the Thunder's 111-102 victory over the Spurs on Monday night inside the AT&T Center became a forgettable footnote to the fast-paced firework display Oklahoma City watched San Antonio exhibit.
"It was pathetic," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "It's something that we're not proud of. They did a great job of really running out and scoring off of our misses. The first part of our transition defense is getting a good shot. We have to be able to consistently get a good shot every time down court so we have good floor balance and can get back in transition."
Brooks spent his halftime address harping on getting back in transition. And although the Thunder did a better job, limiting San Antonio to just seven fast break points, much of the success can be attributed to Spurs coach Gregg Popovich resting his regulars while Brooks played his primary players.
The Thunder outscored the Spurs 60-41 in the second half, as Brooks stuck to his goal of playing his starters their customary minutes.
With two preseason games left, and Brooks planning to hold out Durant and Russell Westbrook tonight in Denver, the pressing question is which half Monday night most resembled the real version of the Thunder?
"I judge the guys by how they play and what they do on the floor," Brooks said. "There's a style of play that we have to play, and we showed that in spurts throughout the game."
Durant, who shook off a miserable shooting performance in the first half to finish with a game-high 29 points, said his team needs to study the good and bad from Monday night.
"We can learn a lot from our mistakes in the first half," Durant said. "I think we had some breakdowns in giving them layups in transition. But the second half, I think it was two different teams you saw on the defensive end. Everybody helped each other. We scrambled. We played harder. And we came up with stops. That's what type of team we are."
Durant then noted there is more work left to be done before next Wednesday's regular-season opener.
"We got to put two halves together," Durant said.