Thunder vs Spurs Game Four Recap; Thunder Outlast San Antonio
Game 4 between the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs embodied what the playoffs are all about. One team started fast and got out to an early lead, the other weathered the storm and pulled closer, and it was a slug fest the rest of the way. The Spurs finished the first quarter with a 10 point lead.
The Thunder gathered themselves in the second, after just 17 points in the first quarter. They managed to get the deficit down to 8 going into the half. Coming out of the half, the Thunder went on a bit of a run to make the game even tighter. Without the usual timely 3-point shooting from San Antonio, they relied more on ball movement and the inside game with Aldridge — as they have this whole series.
Going into the 4th quarter, the Thunder had trimmed the deficit down to 4 as the Spurs led 81-77. The Thunder managed to get stronger as the game went on, increasing their point totals quarter by quarter, saving their best for last. Kevin Durant produced how a former MVP should in the playoffs, finishing with 41 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Westbrook added a solid stat line with 14 points, 15 assists, and 7 rebounds. The Spurs’ stars contributed as well, with Aldridge, Leonard, and Parker posting 20, 21 and 22 points respectively.
The story of this game was the scoring total of Spurs’ aging star, Tim Duncan. Zero points… ZERO. After 19 seasons and 249 playoff games, that is the first time that has ever happened. Could have been his age, he’s 40, could have been his playing time, he played just over 12 minutes, or it could have been the 4 fouls he accumulated in such little playing time. Whatever the reason, he had better put it behind himself fast because this series is tied and the Spurs need Duncan. He is the foundation on which this Spurs dynasty was built.
The best part about this game and series is that it is now tied at two games apiece. In a postseason that has seen so few competitive series, it’s good to see one that actually has a legitimate shot at going to 7 games. For the sake of the league and the fans, I’m hoping it does. Regardless of what happens in the inferior East, the Western Conference Finals are sure to be entertaining.
Not to get too far ahead, but let’s say the Warriors manage to finish off Portland. A matchup of the last two MVP winners in Steph Curry and Kevin Durant would make for a great series. Or the Spurs and the Warriors possessing the best records of opponents in a playoff series in NBA history. Either one is sure to make for must see television.
(Thunder vs Spurs Game Four Recap)