Thunder transition defense weak in win over Spurs
Oklahoma City beat San Antonio 111-102 in an exhibition game on Monday, but the Thunder struggled in the first half.
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.
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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.
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