El Conclusión: San Antonio Spurs 107, Oklahoma City Thunder 96

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Oklahoma City Thunder 96 Final

Recap | Box Score

107 San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan, C 30 MIN | 5-16 FG | 3-3 FT | 15 REB | 3 AST | 13 PTS | +24
Duncan never found his offense, but I love the pride he’s shown this season, especially in this game. After having a handful of shots blocked or altered by the Thunder’s interior defense in the first half, Duncan went hard at the hoop in the second half and was fouled on a couple strong plays at the rim. Defensively, he played well and controlled the glass the entire game. The old Tim Duncan has at least one thing in common with the young Tim Duncan. Neither player gets enough respect.
Richard Jefferson, SF 33 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | +15
Offensively, Jefferson quietly connected on three three point baskets. Defensively, he held his own against a team that typically gives the Spurs fits. Nothing spectacular, but a solid performance from RJ.
DeJuan Blair, F 22 MIN | 1-3 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +11
When DeJuan Blair was a rookie he had a monster game against the Thunder. That seems like such a long time ago. It was certainly before the emergence of Serge Ibaka and the arrival of Kendrick Perkins. Tonight, he stunk. Blair contributed almost nothing to the offense and was mistake prone and over-matched on defense.
Tony Parker, PG 39 MIN | 16-29 FG | 10-12 FT | 3 REB | 9 AST | 42 PTS | +20
Let me add ++++++ to that A. This was Tony Parker playing like Tony Parker plays when Tony Parker is an All-Star. A special night for Parker, who coupled a huge scoring outburst with the historic accomplishment of becoming the Spurs’ all-time leader in assists. Lost in all that is Parker’s defense. He bothered Westbrook the entire game and came up with a pair of timely steals. Tonight Parker gave us the best individual performance by any Spur this season.
Kawhi Leonard, SF 31 MIN | 5-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 15 PTS | +15
Leonard gave the Spurs a gigantic lift in the first half by knocking down a couple threes. But his fifteen points and six boards are not nearly as impressive as his five assists. Leonard is still rough around the edges, but his overall game could eventual challenge for an All Star appearance.
Matt Bonner, PF 19 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | +3
Poor Matt Bonner. He was fouled (obviously fouled, I should add) on a non-call dunk attempt in the first half. Had Bonner connected on that wicked, New Hampshire-style two-handed tomahawk, I might have been tempted to give him an A. As it stands, Matt Bonner made a trio of threes. That’s enough for a B-.
Daniel Green, G 26 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -3
Not one of Danny Green’s better performances. His game was undone tonight by a series of mental errors and questionable decisions. Despite all this, Pop stuck with him. This tells us more about Green’s place in the rotation than this game tells us about Green’s skill set.
Gary Neal, PG 20 MIN | 1-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -13
His shooting numbers say it all.
Tiago Splitter, C 17 MIN | 1-5 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | -9
Splitter never got going on offense. But his defense, rebounding, and screen setting were once again superb.

Three Things We Saw

  1. The Spurs were getting buried in the first quarter before Popovich called an early, stop-the-bleeding timeout. He didn’t make any changes to his lineup, but the Spurs came out of the timeout to storm ahead on the scoreboard. From that run forward, the Spurs never relinquished the lead. It would be fun to study the tape to see what changes, if any, Popovich made during that timeout.
  2. How long before one of our readers makes the argument that the best part of Parker’s big game is that it increased his trade value? Not too long, methinks. But before we arrive at that sadly inevitable discussion, let’s say it’s great to see Parker claim the Spurs’ all-time assist record on a pass to Tim Duncan. Poetically appropriate.
  3. So the Spurs didn’t slump to .500 this past week. Mea culpa.
  • Crigney

    In regard to statement #2: You won’t catch me talking any of that shit!

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    how about those calls from various people to chuck Tony Parker about a month ago?  

    This game illustrated perfectly the type of skill set Tiago brings to the fore which Thomasaholdern called me an idiot for outlining.

    Playing as a 5 and keeping the D solid when you are playing limited minutes and keeping the team rolling is such a gift.

  • Hobson13

    Parker had a monster game and has been the best player on the team since Manu went down.  With that said, I am still very unsure as to what this team can really accomplish this year.  On one hand, we’ve been able to survive without Manu for a month.  On the other hand, our front line (besides Duncan/Splitter) is trash.  This lack of depth on the front line will kill us in the playoffs.  In the end, unless this team is playing very well late into the season, I think we are one and done.

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    I second that emotion mate.

  • http://profiles.google.com/nadeemmoulvi Nadeem Moulvi

    Congratulations to Tony! That was an awesome night.  Just watched the post game interviews on spurs.com. TP asked TD to take the next shot for his record assist.  Its a fun video.  Watch Timmy’s interview below.

    http://www.nba.com/spurs/video/120204_duncan 

  • Anonymous

    Love Statement #2 I would also like to add, who is the first one to rain on TP’s parade and say OKC was on a back-to-back? 

    Let TP enjoy this one. He basically said “Take this with you to the All-Star game, Westbrick.” 

    Why isn’t TP getting any mention of an All-Star appearance?? Yeah he’s put up a couple of stinkers, but so has Westbrook. TP is playing hard and keeping this team afloat. 

  • Hobson13

    Yeah, although my post was rather gloomy, I didn’t want to really rain on everyone’s parade by bringing up OKC’s schedule.  That might be a big reason why we won tonight.

  • Sam

    i think parker is greatly underrated,  not just by spurs fans ,but by the entire nba where he gets left out of the elite nba pg arguement.      
    1-      the guy is a team player, with all the criticism he gets ,  he never complains,  he has worked on his game over the years, improved his jumper,    he shares the ball without complain,    while if he wanted to be a ball hug he could easily do that .   alot of fans argue that he is a scoring pg and that he doesn’t share the ball , but i think that is what pop wants him to do, we already have a great playmaker in jinobli who can pass the ball.
     
    2-     his ability to get to the paint is unmatched among point guards, the guy doesn’t have the size like rose, or westbrock or kidd.  he has freakish speed and is a mismatch and headache for opposing defenses

  • Anonymous

    If it wasn’t for Tony Parker the Spurs all time assist leader’s performance tonight we’d be talking about KL’s also great performance. Those two were the reason that big lead happened. Tony tore Westbrook’s s**t up. Ok where are those TP hater’s now? He did it to the best team in the west. Is that enough proof for you? If thumping 42 points on Westbrook isn’t enough to open your eyes then you be a blind man forever. TP sent a message tonight to the NBA and even Westbrook in regards to that all -star lineup.

  • Deeds130

    Timothy & co-

    When I pleaded in the past to acquire Ty Chandler from CHA, even If it cost both TP + rookie phenom Dejaun Blair, I got no support here. Even before that, I proposed sending out a package built around the Frenchman for Camby + Darren Collison + Ty Thomas. And before that, I said get Marcus Camby with the plan to also sign Lamar Odom the following summer, while retaining TP unless absolutely necessary. More recently, strongly doubting the value of TP to bring back a top 3 pick (aka DeMarcus Cousins or Derrick Favors), I called for trading our 2-time AllStar PG in order to move up and grab either Greg Monroe if possible, or Paul George.  
    Subsequent to all of that, I have seen no specific target to move Parker for, but remain open to moving ANYBODY and/or EVERYBODY to get a crack at a stockpile of first round picks, with a particular interest in Missisippi State’s Arnett Moultrie. 

    With that said, I have remained quietly okay, as in “Plan B” okay, with a imagining a new, young, developing roster anchored by Parker and Splitter, having liked what I’ve seen from that duo since early last season, and since the window has doubtlessly closed on my 2 favorite Spurs players’ ability to carry this team to 16 PO wins. I quit hoping for improved outside shooting from TP years ago, but always remain curious to see how his point guard skills will evolve, optimistic that he’d be a serviceable team captain and best player. Always love to see a good game from him, but the taste of last year’s MEM series was both sour and almost predictable. I cheer for him loudly during games, but he has alot to prove to me before I publicly say I am glad the Spurs took the conservative approach these last many years. Right now, the Spurs are the hottest team in the NBA… fun to watch, but it’s friggin’ FEBRUARY.

    TP has been an all-time great Spur, no doubt about it. And Beloved. But Shaq, Pau, D-Will all got traded… with pretty good results. So call the likes of me out if it makes you feel like the better fan. I like TP a ton, I just love the Spurs more. Good game.

  • Anonymous

    I agree on the front  line. Tiago may have not scored 14 or 25 points like he did in the last couple of games but he still can get the assists and play tuff defense. Who else other than Timmy of our front line can draw 3 people to the rim then pass off to the arc on an assist? Nobody. This guy is starting to get attention from the opposition which is huge for our shooters. I just wish Pop would just let Tiago go for longer stretches on his first substitution I don’t care if he gets 1 foul he needs to keep him on the court. The longer he’s on the court the better he gets. Pop has a habit of taking him out right when he’s getting on a roll. I don’t understand what your trying to do Pop.

  • TD BestEVER

    Another GARBAGE write up and review by Tim Varner!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You guys seem more and more like uninformed fans and less like journalist every day.  You have no BASES for your grades and will never provide one because you know that as soon as you do provide an outline you will have to change it just to fit you already formed OPINIONS. 

  • Deeds130

    I think he’s in contention for an all-star appearance among candidates Billups, Kevin Martin, K Landry, JET, Ellis, Nash, Harden, and Rubio… and among that group, he gets in pretty easily this year.

  • DorieStreet

    Saw the tease on ESPN (‘NBA Tonight”) about Parker’s historic night and I’m thinking ‘it’s not the 42 points- his career high is 55′- and then they commented on the Spurs career assist record during the game highlights. That’s a good feeling about Tony wanting Tim to be attached to that benchmark. I didn’t see the game–hope the fans there showed TP plenty love.

    Great victory over the best-playing team in the league right now.
    @ T. Varner-  I take it you mean Kawhi has a shot at making the Rising Stars Challenge (formally known as the Sophmore-Rookie Game) at the All-Star Weekend Festivities.

  • Bankshot21

    Excellently written.

  • TD BestEVER

     I’m starting to wonder do you guys do this on purpose just to keep the arguments alive or really think this.  I know that some of the readers see things through very biased glasses, but how can you guys especially Tim who used to get all the things right be so wrong about almost everything………. smh

    And as far as the TP trade value thing…….I’m all in, if someone will take RJ with him, or give us a young BIG and young PG( I can name like 10 that would be just fine).  And if we are lucky we may even get back a pick in the process. 

  • Ian

    Tough schedule is no longer a valid excuse in this season. Every team in the NBA has a tough, crammed schedule that they’ll just have to live with. And this game was the Spurs’ third game in 4 days (same as OKC), mind you. This win was a good win no matter how you put it.

  • DorieStreet

    But you know the NBA media are not going to lean toward his way. (None of the TNT studio crew had Tony as a reserve player.) And after the complaints about Duncan getting in last year over Love and Aldridge, the Spurs might get shut out (except for Kawhi Leonard in the Rising Stars Challenge, as Tim Varner noted above in the player grades).

  • Ian

    Tim Varner is one of the authors that first started this site, if I remember correctly (back when Tim and Graydon were the only people writing articles on this site). If you don’t like his write-ups, you probably shouldn’t be here at all for your own sake. There are plenty of Spurs forums and blogs on the internet other than 48MoH that are better suited to your taste, after all.

  • NYC

    Haters gonna hate. You keep drinking that haterade.

  • DorieStreet

    Well, if the trade deadline comes and goes without anything being done by the FO, then you know the team just wants to see if the quick out last year was because of the injury to Manu.

  • Hobson13

    TD, with regards to the grading system, this is just one man’s opinion of how the players performed for this one game.  Based on me watching several games and reviewing ALL box scores, I haven’t seen any egregious errors with any grades so far this season.  Just for the sake of argument, how would you grade these players performances tonight? 

  • Hobson13

    Yeah, I agree 100%.

  • Hobson13

    Great post.  I have always liked Parker and have great respect for him.  However, the “Trade Parker Crew” still has a number of merits (usually longer term strategies) that one great game doesn’t erase.

  • TD BestEVER

    + 10000000000 – Damn fine argument Sr.

    I would like to add that there has to be some players that are CAN NOT BE TRADED unless they ask for it. Manu/TD imo. 

    And as far as Parker, he has always and will always be more of a side kick and not a super hero.  He will need to play on a team like The Denver Nuggets to be the best player on a Contender.   And at his age, should not be considered as part of the Spurs rebuilding process.  Just look at the playoff picture and at the teams that will not make it, and look at our roster compared to theirs.  

    We don’t have the same amount of talent as The Rockets, Wolves, or even Memphis w/o Randolph.  TP still is a household name and that alone will get you one or so extra pieces in a trade.  Our FO should look into that before we end up like the Suns……….

  • TDzilla!

    LOL! Why not send your article to them. Let’s see who’s the real journalist now.

  • TD BestEVER

     It’s not the grades……..it’s the expectations…..or the lack thereof.

    I watched and have watched most games including tonight’s game…….

    If you can’t give an example of what a player did wrong, then he probably played better than you are giving him credit for.  If someone plays poorly, say what they did wrong, and if they played well, what did they do well.  

    So it’s the lack of any kind of validation or examples behind so of the grades. 

    If you watch these games you can probably pick out a play (good or bad) that sums up a players night.  And if you can’t, it’s because the either didn’t play, or didn’t tip the scales in any direction.

  • TD BestEVER

    As a matter of fact I will submit my expectations for each player sometime tomorrow.  

  • Ian

    Oh god no, don’t encourage him. It’s bad enough already that all of us readers (and the authors of this site if they give a damn) have to put up with his constant whining in the comments section…

  • Anonymous

    Amazing game by TP.

    I am actually amazed at how he ripped Westbrook to shreds. Tony got game, and he should bring it more often.

    The Spurs hot shooting helped spread out the floor for Tony early on and I think Westbrook’s reaction after Tony slapped the ball out of his hands and had Russel scrambling to the ground is the moment that Tony decided I’m going to teach this kid a lesson tonight. Parker was called for a foul on that play, and that was just a garbage call, however, Westbrook kicking at Tony was the catalyst.

    I hope we survive the next 3 weeks of road games, as this should be the defining stretch of the season that could really show if the team is playoff material or not.

    Back to the Oklahoma City Thunder. I think they have one of the most talented teams in the NBA, and a solid core for a future championship team, but I think that Russel Westbrook will be Durant’s kryptonite. That kid has major ego issues. He lets his temper get the best of him, and as much talent as he’s got, with that attitude of his the Thunder are going nowhere.
    If you want to beat the Thunder, just anger Westbrook. If Rajon Rondo was the PG next to Durant, I believe they could win it all very soon, but definitely not with Westbrook who just can’t grasp the fact that this is Durant’s team and no matter how good of a player he is, this will always be Durant’s team.
    I think Westbrook reads plenty of ESPN articles, and when the analysts at ESPN rain compliments on Durant’s game and how good he is, Westbrook becomes so selfish over the next few games, he runs the Thunder out of them.

    Westbrook will wind up being the John Starks to Patrick Ewing of the Knicks in game 7 of the finals vs the Rockets.

  • WTF….!!!

    CONGRATULATIONS TONY…….YOU ARE THE BEST POINT GUARD EVER…..!!!
    WHO SAID…..THAT CP3 IS THE BEST PG
    WHO SAID …..THAT DWILL IS THE BEST PG
    WHO SAID……THAT DROSE IS THE BEST PG
    WHO SAID……THAT WESTBROOK IS THE BEST PG
    WHO SAID …….THAT SNASH IS THE BES PG
    ALLLL OF THIS GUYS ARE NOTHING…..NOTHING….NOTHING………!!!
    TONY PARKER HAS 3 RING, 1 MVP FINALS, 3 TIME ALL-STAR…….!!! THOSE GUYS……..NOTHING
    IF YOU ARE A BEST PG YOU HAVE TO BRING YOUR TEAM TO THE NBA FINALS……BUT THOSE GUYS…..NOTHING……………WTF

  • Anonymous

    TD BestEVER,

    You’re wound a little too tightly, in my opinion. But since this is such a sore spot for you, let me say a few things about the grading system.

    The grading system is something that was suggested and offered to TH blogs as a way to post a quick, on-the-spot reaction to the games to give readers a point of interaction immediately following contests. It’s not supposed to be comprehensive, or long. 

    It’s a conversation starter, not a final word. It’s a briefly annotated box score. 

    The reason we haven’t posted our expectations for the players is that they differ between writers, just as they differ between readers. Our opinions about what to expect from the team or individual players shift from writer to writer. Aaron, for example, is much more optimistic about the team than I am. And so on. 

    If you think I missed something or valued an area of player performance too greatly, you’re free to say so. And you’re right, we are hoping for conversation. Intelligent conversation is part of what makes blogs fun. 

    I get your call for more specificity.And we welcome you writing something along the lines of “Varner gave Blair a ‘D’, but despite his line, his contribution of X, Y, and Z should be given more credit. Because of X,Y, and Z, he should receive a ‘B’.”

    That’s actually what we’re hoping for. 

    Think of these grades as the conversation that happens at the bar after games between fans. This is not deep evaluation, this is a quick reaction.

  • Anonymous

    A game I was wanting to see but didn’t get the chance.  Thanks for the write up.  These “conclusion’s” help somewhat for people that don’t get the chance to view the game.  They give fans like us a better summary of how the game was played and/or how a player performed.  If accounts of how a player performed is not of the opinion of an individual reader who witnessed the game as well…I like reading those also.  But I cannot believe (and has proved evident)  that these write ups are so far off that they warrant rant and indignity towards the author.  From the games I’ve actually seen and then read about on this blog site…They may not be spot on…but they are not far from the truth.

    I log on to other Spurs blog sites.  Few I comment in. This particular site being my favorite for it’s most unbiased contributions of it’s authors I’ve seen of any of the sites.  Applauded is the way they allow us to articulate our opinions and debate our differences in an environment that allows us to respectfully disagree with each other and in turn learn from each other’s opinions.  Some of which I wouldn’t have even thought of that become enlightening and expanding to my understanding of players and/or circumstances that I wouldn’t have even thought of if it were not for the authors and commentors to this site.  Thank you all.

    That being said.  I wouldn’t mind if added to the format of this site being of the ability to be able to create/write an article.  Perhaps such poignant points of views by some could be formatted better to discussion if allowed their own window?

  • Daniel T

    The quick out may have also had something to do with losing 2 out of the first 3 games by 3 points, with Manu not even playing in the first loss.  The Spurs outrebounded the Grizzlies in both of those first two losses.  It wasn’t simply that Memphis’ bigs outplayed the Spurs, but that the greater length that Memphis had throughout their lineup helped them.  Giving minutes to Tiago, Green and Leonard along with having a healthy Manu should likely change around those first two losses and then the Spurs win in 5 games.  

  • Bankshot21

    Thanx for explaining that to him. Where I agree with much of what he writes, he has been coming off a bit wounded up lately. Lol.

  • ggg

    with duncan demanding a much reasonable contract next season and jefferson being our first victim under amnesty rule, i think theres a lot to look forward to. we still can beat anyone in a 7 games series this season. but next season, if we can keep the core 3 together and our key bench players we would be really awesome.

    The icing on the cake would be if Erazem Lorbek finally decides to ply his trade in the nba.

  • Bankshot21

    I disagree. westbrook is d.rose of the west. Plain and simple. Difference is he has what people consider a better player than himself on the team. Problem is, after Durant there is no one for Russell to confidently distribute the ball to. Harden creates his own offense. Russell Westbrook is exactly what the Thunder need to be successful.

  • Bankshot21

    In simple terms, one writer may feel if TD gets 10 pts and 17 rebs that’s an A deserving performance, while the next writer prefers TD to score more for an A so a lines of 25 and 7 could be deserving of an A as well.

  • Daniel T

     Is there something wrong with saying Blair contributed almost nothing to the offense?  He made one of three shots, and the other two were blocked.  He had no assists, a turnover on an  offensive foul, and one offensive rebound.  For nearly 22 minutes of play, that’s almost nothing.

  • Deeds130

    You’re right.

    When I personally imagine a Parker led team, I imagine a team contending for a playoff spot in the always competitive West, not a team contending for a championship… just to spell it out for people, do I need to mention the postseason histories of teams led by D-Will, CP3, Nash, Monta Ellis?

    I do agree with your point regarding Manu/TD, but don’t think it would take much diplomacy to convince both HOFers that a move would be a win-win, particularly for themselves, given the results we can expect to get here with the status quo. Parting with either, and certainly both, would be a seriously bitter pill, it would hurt and be sad. But your point about the Suns is dead on. Spot on. Impossible to ignore.

  • DorieStreet

    Ha! That’s not a good example—at this stage in his career, ALL writers should give him a A for those types of games!

  • DorieStreet

    Rose is starting to screw up his team in close games down the stretch. He is not even looking to involve his teammates, preferring to dribble pell-mell into the paint without regard to how many of the opposing players are in covering him. They could have won the Heat game last Sunday.

  • DorieStreet

    Rose is starting to screw up his team in close games down the stretch. He is not even looking to involve his teammates, preferring to dribble pell-mell into the paint without regard to how many of the opposing players are in covering him. They could have won the Heat game last Sunday.

  • DorieStreet

    What would Tiago Splitter ‘s game be like had he come over the summer he was drafted – 2007 – than last su;mmer – 2010?

  • Anonymous

    anyone know the game time of the attempted Bonner dunk?  or a link?  I’d like to see that.  

  • Anonymous

    +Infinity…Well said. But some people still want to trade Tony a younger proven player with accolades/future HOF’er and peices, so they can band-aid this team around TD and Manu old players also with accolades but on their way out soon only to find that it would be a big mistake to mortgage (letting Tony and pieces go) the future of this team in hopes of future championships with TD and Manu after this season and only to find themselves worse off than the Suns. If they trade Tony they need to trade TD and Manu as well otherwise it’s pointless. Not going to do it? Thought so! By the sounds of it some want Tony gone for a draft pick/PG or a big? What? Are we getting D-Will, CP3, D-Rsoe, etc. for Tony? NO. Then why the hell would they get someone lesser than Tony and Big lesser than Timmy, not to mention a draft pick who’s going to come in here and give you 20/20. Don’t think so. Fantasy trades. How funny. I’ll keep my team the way it is  and wait for the older two of the core three to call it a career, pick up pieces along the way as we’re doing then we can get down to real business. That’s how the FO wants it. Wish all you want Tony isn’t going anywhere. If anything after this season I would amnesty RJ (not because he’s terrible (which he’s not) but because of his age and contract, as well as moving Bonner and Blair next season and get two more good tall trees. And before the spasmodic TDBE goes off like a fire cracker on the fourth of July…I’ts only my opinion. Please TD no caps only if its my name.

  • Anonymous

    What I would like to see on this site is the ability to have a real time chat (like on that other site but unlike the 
    personal pointless garbage substance they put up) among members of this blog during the games so that we can point out facts as they happen or just enjoy the game among each other. That would be really cool. That would make more use of my Samsung tablet and keyboard while in the comfort of my man cave.

  • Anonymous

    11:19 in the 2nd qtr. Poor Bonner.

  • Anonymous

    Probably three times better and + 3 Championships. That’s just my opinion ok somebody.

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    I don’t know if thats such a good idea to be honest Title.

    Things get heated as it is and we all support the same squad :)