Spurs fight off Thunder for 2-0 series leadMay 30, 2012 - 4:34 AM
After seeing a 22-point lead nearly disappear, they held on for their 20th win in a row and a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.
Tony Parker poured in 34 points and San Antonio survived for a 120-111 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 2 on Tuesday night.
Game 3 is Thursday night in Oklahoma City.
Manu Ginobili added 20 points, Kawhi Leonard scored 18 with 10 rebounds and Tim Duncan had 11 points and 12 boards in the win.
The Spurs overcame 88 combined points from Thunder stars Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
Their 20-game winning streak is the longest extended into the playoffs in NBA history, breaking the 19-game run by the 2001 Lakers.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich -- who screamed at his team during Game 1 that he wanted "some nasty" as they labored to come back from a nine-point deficit -- watched a 22-point lead in the third quarter melt down to six midway through the fourth on Tuesday.
The NBA Coach of the Year said his team didn't let up.
"I thought we lost a little mojo," said Popovich. "(But) that's how things happen. It's the NBA. Teams don't just die; they come back on you."
Durant had 31 points, Harden scored 12 of his 30 in the fourth quarter and Westbrook added 27 points, including 11 in the final frame when the Thunder outscored the Spurs 35-28.
"We fought back like we always do," said Westbrook. "We just didn't win. We have to make sure we come out in Game 3 with a sense of urgency."
Parker lined up all alone in the right corner for a three-pointer to give the Spurs a 20-point lead with 5:15 left in the third quarter, and it looked like the rout was on.
San Antonio pushed its lead to 22 on the next trip down the court, but Durant scored six points in an 8-0 Thunder run to trim the margin to 80-66. It stayed between 14 and 18 points for the rest of the third quarter before the Thunder began chipping away.
They were never closer in the second half than when Westbrook made a pair of foul shots to cut San Antonio's lead to 99-93 with 5:40 remaining. Duncan hit a couple of free throws at the other end and Parker's layup pushed the lead to 10.
The dagger didn't come until later, when Ginobili knocked down a three for a 115-105 lead with just 88 seconds left. The Spurs ended 11-of-26 on threes and shot better than 55 percent overall.
"I like the way our guys fought," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks, whose team shot 42 percent for the game but nearly 53 percent in the fourth quarter. "We just couldn't get over the hump. We dug ourselves a deep hole."
The Spurs had a 10-2 lead on Leonard's baseline dunk and went ahead by as many as 10 in the first quarter. They took a 28-22 lead into the second despite Durant's 12 points.
Stephen Jackson hit a three-pointer to cap a 7-0 Spurs run for a 42-29 lead and Duncan later dunked on Serge Ibaka after the Thunder had cut is deficit to single digits.
San Antonio carried a 55-44 lead into halftime behind Parker's 17 points on 8- of-11 shooting. Durant and Harden combined to shoot 11-of-18 for 14 points apiece.
Spurs took a 1-0 lead with a 101-98 win on Sunday that wasn't as close as the final margin...The Spurs are the first team to win their first 10 playoff games since the Lakers won 11 straight to begin the 2001 postseason...There were three technical fouls called in the final 2 1/2 minutes of the third quarter. Brooks got one, and Jackson and Ibaka were whistled for matching technicals after the buzzer sounded.
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 111
SAN ANTONIO: 120
May 29 11:47 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 76
SAN ANTONIO: 92
End of 3rd
May 29 11:06 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 44
SAN ANTONIO: 55
May 29 10:05 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 22
SAN ANTONIO: 28
End of 1st
May 29 9:29 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
SAN ANTONIO: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
May 29 9:02 PM
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