The Margin: Oklahoma City Thunder 107, San Antonio Spurs 99

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The Spurs fell to the Thunder in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. There are other media outlets that will give you a more comprehensive look at Game 6 or a more objective look, but that’s their job. We’re here to tell you how we see it. You know the drill for The Margin. One bullet for every point in the difference of the final score. Make sure you touch the line each time.

  • The Spurs scored 34 points in the first quarter and 36 points in the second half. What more should I say? If you watched the game, you understand.
  • Tim Duncan’s hesitation from the mid-range in the third quarter didn’t help the Spurs. Sebastian Pruiti mentioned it on our podcast Wednesday, and even more so on Grantland, but that was a big key for the Spurs. Duncan was aggressive from 15-18 feet in the first half and not so much in the second. San Antonio could’ve used some decisiveness.
  • I love Kawhi Leonard as much as anyone, but he struggled in the second half. He made a lot of mental mistakes, especially defensively, that helped do in the Spurs. Re-watch the game and view how many second half possessions that end in a Thunder basket and Stephen Jackson pointing to Kawhi where he should’ve been. Leonard will be a special player in the NBA, but he’s still a 20-year-old rookie in the Western Conference Finals.
  • Danny Green could’ve cost himself a lot of money during these Western Conference Finals, while potentially saving the Spurs millions. It’s amazing how these things turn out.
  • We saw a lot of possible narratives fall with the Spurs tonight. Included with the group were the “offense can win championships,” “you can go 10 deep in the playoffs,” and “Stephen Jackson is a crazy person” story lines. The final one is the only one I enjoyed.
  • I was really hoping Spurs Sports & Entertainment could’ve captured the elusive championship double involving a D-League title and NBA championship, proving definitively that they were the best franchise in professional basketball.
  • This was probably my favorite Spurs team of all-time. The personalities involved mixed with the mish-mash of youth and veterans. That said…
  • …defense wins championships.
  • Jrub2301

    Stephen Jackson got a technical for looking at the bench; meanwhile, Russel Westbrook slaps Kawhi on the head after a rebound that causes him to dribble out of bounds.

  • Len

    The refereeing, especially in the 4th qtr, was marginal to say the least.

    1.  Tech on Jacko
    2-3, Charges on Manu
    4. Parker foul on made Westbrook back door layup
    6. Manu foul on Durant jumper 
    7. Illegal screen on Jacko

    5 terrible calls and 1 50-50 call (the charge on Manu taken by Durant) in the 4th qtr alone.  

    Unlike games 3,4 and 5, I thought the Spurs deserved this game.  It’s terribly frustrating to lose a close out game in this manner.  

  • Michaelmacg

    Amazing season by the Spurs.  Would have rather had the best 2 teams in the league playing for a Championship, not for a chance to represent the Western Conference.  I hope Spurs Nation will root for the Thunder against whoever they face from the Eastern Conference.  

  • Len

    Oh yeah, Timmy had an illegal screen called against him as well after a Fisher flop.  

    6 terrible calls and 1 50-50.

  • senorglory

    How fun was Cpt. Jack, though? Amirite? God bless his soul.

  • F Korambayil

    I got no problem with OKC winning.  I’ve got big problems with shid refs making biased calls.

    It was a disgrace how this game was reffed:

    1) offensive foul on Ginobili (Durant sliding over)- 3 pts
    2) offensive foul on Ginobili (Harden flop) – 3 pts by Kawhi Leonard
    3) foul after Kawhi Leonard blocks shot (Durant) – 2 ft’s
    4) Moving pick on Tim Duncan – possession
    5) moving pick no call on Perkins who nailed Ginobili
    6) Durant threading his arm underneath Jax – 2 ft’s
    7) technical foul on JAX for LOOOKING at the OKC bench – 1 pt

    OKC did a great job coming back and the Spurs were just spent.  But you don’t need to f*** help them.
     

  • http://twitter.com/attillcus attillcus

    This was definitely my favorite spurs team of all time…i have nothing else to say other than.. I am really sad..

  • junierizzle

    I don’t like to complain once the team is eliminated. Its not like they can correct the mistake for the next game, because there isn’t one.

    I would like to complain about the referees in general. When a team is struggling to score and YOU DONT CALL A BLATANT HIT TO THE HEAD(Westbrook on Leonard) or FACE(Wade on Rondo) How is said team supposed to stop a run? The Leonard foul and the Manu non-foul were two opportunities to stop OKC’s run. Maybe, just maybe OKC never take the lead and Spurs hang on if we get four easy points on those calls. I known people don’t like to blame referees but man, sometimes a non call can change a game late.

    I feel bad for Manu, Jackson, TD and TP and even POP. This core deserved to win at least one more ring. But the basketball gods said, they have enough.

  • NYC

    I couldn’t agree more. OKC won it. Fine. I can accept that. But that piece of skid Danny Crawford screwed us once again. Un-fugging-believable. 

  • NYC

    Exactly. OKC can do just fine on their own. Let them play and may the best team win. We didn’t need Danny Crawford’s blatantly helping them. 

    Technical for a look?  A LOOK? Are you fugging kidding me? Just like the tech he called on Timmy for laughing while sitting on the bench. How is this guy allowed to get away with this skid time and time again?????

    If you’re gonna allow technicals for a look, then Kendrick Perkins should have been suspended a long time ago. How many times has he glared down the opposite bench?? Answer me that, Danny Skidhead Crawford. Where’s your bullskid technicals for that??

  • NYC

    I’m too devastated to post anything rational right now. All I can do is express my feelings. There should have been a game 7. Let the best team win in game 7. I’ve got no problem with OKC winning, but this game was bullskid. 

    There was a play when Durant drew a foul on Duncan. I think it was in the 4th. That’s when I knew our window has closed. Tim Duncan, the greatest PF of all time, used to get those calls in his favor. But now it’s Durant’s world. SIC TRANSIT GLORIA. 

  • STIJL

    The game of basketball is a shameful matter when refs tip the scales.  Congrats to OKC for having a great team…but tainted is their trip to the finals by wrongful acts of officiating.

    Agreed about “defense wins championships” .  I don’t think there is a one of us who would argue that point as have many of us voiced that comment over the course of this season.  That said…what do the Spurs do in getting another perennial post player on this team?  Duncan showed his age and the others- Splitter, Blair, Bonner and Diaw just don’t have the skills to ever be a dominant, game changing presense in this league.

  • CaptainClark

    What was one of the most important games of basketball in the roughly 15 years I’ve been watching the Spurs ended up including some of the worst officiating I’ve ever witnessed. I felt like I was watching some vintage Spurs-Mavs action last night… except the D didn’t save us. I felt sad last night. Today, I’m already past that. Now I feel empty. I don’t know what to do because this very well could have been the last legitimate shot Duncan and Manu had at a title, and Crawford and Co. squandered it last night.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Sauer/645387978 Christopher Sauer

    Yeah, and Westbrook lays the ball up, falls to the ground completely by himself, and because Tony Parker was within a foot of him, he gets a phantom call from Joey Crawford.  Ugh.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think OKC was the better team in this series, but they’re good enough without the benefit of so many questionable calls.  Derek Fisher & James Harden are after Ginobili’s crown as master flopper, I believe.  If Harden gets one more call because he does a scissor kick after he shoots, I’m gonna scream.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Sauer/645387978 Christopher Sauer

    My Westbrook comment was captured by Len under #4.  In regards to #4, agreed – Durant’ foot was still sliding, he had not established position. 

    I’d also like to add the screen Timmy set on Fisher, no contact, and foul on Timmy, somehow.  Oh, and I forget who on the Spurs was called for trying to fight through a screen.  Durant does the same exact thing on the other end, and no call.

    Oh, and Ibaka slapping Timmy across every inch of his arms while he was backing him down.  No call.

    Sadly, we could go on…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Sauer/645387978 Christopher Sauer

    Sorry, I regards to #5, Durant’s foot was still sliding…

  • http://www.facebook.com/dromjohn John M. Perkins

    Did Pop forget to trust the system?

  • Bladrew

    Joey Crawford strikes again. According to that ref crew, the Thunder could do no wrong in the 4th quarter. They only seemed to call fouls on the Thunder out of obligation, so that the foul disparity wouldn’t be as staggering by the end of the quarter. The Thunder were in the bonus by what, minute 3 into the 4th?

  • (formerly) Vermont Spurs Fan

    I did not watch the game as I have canceled TV entirely. I will just say this one thing. Had I watched it I would not have been able to sleep last night. I would have been upset. I can hear it in the comments that many are upset today. 

    Professional Sports is one of the few things in America that makes half of the people feel bad (needlessly) and the other half run around bragging. It is all about your team winning or losing. I realized this last week and hope that you realize it now. If you had played six games of volleyball in your back yard or basketball at the gym and lost all six you would not feel bad now. There is something unhealthy about being a spectator.

    I have been so calm since I gave up the last professional sports (the Spurs, Tennis, Olympics). I had already given up baseball (too random!) Hockey (too violent!) and Football which is the worst of all (violent and random). And honestly, soccer is the most infuriating of all sports the officiating is too important and too atrocious. In just the past week I have avoided lots of anxiety and pain: three maddening Spurs games and my favorite tennis player Jo-Willy Tsonga (from France) had 4 match points against the hated Djokovich and Tsonga lost. If I had watched that I would have been so anxious and then very sad. 

    Why do we put ourselves through it? I am out. I know that this is a sports blog but where else to reach the people who can benefit from this? You do not need the anxiety. Now that the Spurs are out do not switch to baseball, do not get ready for football season, do not get caught up in the Olympics. Trust me a peaceful life is not a boring life. Without Pro sports your life will be more peaceful. (And it goes without saying that the first thing to give up has to be the news and politics – much worse for you then pro sports).

    Peace out and best of luck to all Spurs players, organization, and fans. 

  • Bladrew

    I think you could’ve stopped your novel at “I did not watch the game as I have canceled TV entirely”, because I certainly stopped reading after that.

  • Jude

    I agree..this was the worst, crooked, paid off ref I have ever seen.  In the 3rd and 4th Qrt the refs seem to create points for the Thunder out of nowhere or  buy every flop the Thunder sold.  Since the Thunder realized after halftime they couldn’t fairly beat the Spurs with defense they would try to beat the Spurs with their acting skills/flops/and refs.  I believe the Thunder Coach or NBA really do not want people to watch this last game comeback.  Their should have been a game 7 in  San Antonio.

    I know the NBA will threaten their players with $50K-$100K fines if they really speak their mind.

  • http://405thunder.blogspot.com/ 405Thunder

    As a Thunder fan I wanted to just say how awesome the Spurs and their fans are. Especially here at 48MoH.

    I can totally understand that most Spurs fans feel like the refs impacted this game more than they should have. I would never disrespect the Spurs organization or players by saying there weren’t some bad calls. But, I appreciate the general feeling I’m getting here that it was the refs’ fault and not the Thunder.

    This is new territory for me, as a fan. I know for you guys this is expected, but right now I’m riding higher than I ever have as a sports fan. Still, I wanted to express my appreciation for the Spurs, their fans, and their awesome players. I’m sad the game had to have a stink on it like it did, but I hope we can all kind of channel that anger at the right people (the refs) and not the wrong people (players and fans).

    Anyway, that’s all I have. I expect the Spurs to continue to prove people wrong about being old or washed up, and hopefully we see you guys late in the playoffs again next year.

    Go Spurs Go!

  • http://405thunder.blogspot.com/ 405Thunder

    As a Thunder fan I wanted to just say how awesome the Spurs and their fans are. Especially here at 48MoH.

    I can totally understand that most Spurs fans feel like the refs impacted this game more than they should have. I would never disrespect the Spurs organization or players by saying there weren’t some bad calls. But, I appreciate the general feeling I’m getting here that it was the refs’ fault and not the Thunder.

    This is new territory for me, as a fan. I know for you guys this is expected, but right now I’m riding higher than I ever have as a sports fan. Still, I wanted to express my appreciation for the Spurs, their fans, and their awesome players. I’m sad the game had to have a stink on it like it did, but I hope we can all kind of channel that anger at the right people (the refs) and not the wrong people (players and fans).

    Anyway, that’s all I have. I expect the Spurs to continue to prove people wrong about being old or washed up, and hopefully we see you guys late in the playoffs again next year.

    Go Spurs Go!

  • Titletown99030507d

    One or two of those 4 post players you mentioned are gone next season.  They should seriously go after the best big they can get with the $$$ available to them and give Splitter 25 minutes a game next season and have him workout in the off season on a jumper and free throws. He’s still talented enough to play on this team just needs to be played at his strengths.
    I would definitely think of moving Bonner and possibly Blair only because Blair is worth more than Bonner and we can get warm body to put where needed. But I would be ok with keeping Blair just for the sake of rebounds during the regular season. Bonner or Blair that’s what it comes down to. As for Diaw I was not impressed with his minutes and performance in the OKC series. He’s a toss up as to what you want to do with him. Resign Danny Green real cheap because he earned it in this series and possibly move him.

  • Este

     Congrats OKC! I’m not going down the refs screwed us path, that’s the song of losers. Refs had nothing to do with Danny Green and Matt Bonner being MIA. The refs had nothing to do with Boris Diaw playing like he was back in Charlotte. And I will add the Spurs were better when they had better assistants to serve as Pop’s brain trust. Nothing against Budenholzer but he’s not exactly Hank Egan or PJ Carlesimo the experience and wealth of knowledge those guys possessed was invaluable.

    Scott Brooks should be commended he made all the right adjustments after game 2 and guys not named Durant, Harden, and Westbrook stepped up big time.

  • Eff The Refs

    As a lifelong Spurs fan and a UT alumn, I believed from the outset of this series that no matter who won I could be happy with it. I would rather the Spurs won, but I am a Durant fan and would love to see him get some rings (especially if it’s between Thunder/Heat). Now that the series is over though, I feel so much anger over the officiating and some of the antics of Westbrook/Harden that I don’t think I can cheer for the Thunder even if it’s against Miami. If the Thunder out and out beat the Spurs that would be one thing, but to essentially have the WCF handed to them by the referees is too much to handle. I have to admit though, that in a league where the team owned by the league gets the first pick in the draft, I’m not surprised by the officiating in this game.

  • Nate21az

    Seriously folks it is a game. Complaining about the refs is what elementary kids on the playground do. Grow up. Calls get screwed both ways. OKC won four straight- clearly the better team. It is comical reading comments here from those who hate the NBA cuz the refs are so bad—and they won’t watch games anymore—-LOL–really?? Your life is that shallow? Life is too short. Embrace it. Have fun. Relax. OKC crushed SA. Life goes on.

  • spurINhouston

     Agreed. What’s so funny is “(formerly) Vermont Spurs Fan” rants about how he doesn’t keep up with sports anymore but somehow knows when all of the basketball games and tennis matches are and who they were against and all the details of their losses. That’s like walking into a BBQ restaurant while preaching about vegetarianism while holding a turkey leg. Yeah, I’m sure he’s so much more “peaceful” without the burden of sports, lol.

  • http://www.nba.com/spurs/?tmd=1 TheRealDirtyP1

    That Manu charge on the Kawhi 3 hurt the most. It looked like Harden was going into Ginobili. That just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  • John T.

    Well said NYC, 1994-95 still ranks for me as the all-time punch to the stomach loss in my lifetime.  I wasn’t around for the 1979 Eastern Conference Finals collapse but my uncle still gets angry just thinking about that game seven in D.C., but this ranks right up there with 2004 and 2006 in terms of feeling like a title just slipped through the Spurs hands.

  • http://www.nba.com/spurs/?tmd=1 TheRealDirtyP1

    I’m happy for you and overall the way Thunder fans have treated winning. It’s an awesome feeling, isn’t it? Good luck and I hope this journey ends well for you.

  • Jacques

    Looks like someone hasn’t been watching the game carefully

  • Guest

    The refs didn’t blow a 2-0 series lead with homecourt or a 15 point halftime lead, stop bitching.

    And any Spurs fans complaining about flops is the ultimate in hilarious.

  • junierizzle

    I don’t think anyone is blaming the loss entirely on the referees. All we are saying is it would’ve helped the Spurs to get a couple of calls, really obvious. OKC was helped with some baby fouls. They practically won the game on the line.

    Surely you cant disagree witht the fact that if Leonard gets the call, he makes two freethrows which would have put Spurs up by three or four or whatever they were ahead of at the time. Thus stopping the Thunders run. If even for just a second.

    I know your going to say if Bonner and GREEN were hitting their shots it wouldn’t come to that, but hat ship sailed. All that matters is Leonard was fouled and if he gets he call it helps The Spurs. He didn’t get and it definitely hurt the Spurs.

  • Irontalon

    In all I’m proud of the team after it’s all said and done. They played exactly how I wanted them too, but at some point the other team having 3 of the 4 best players, and 7 of the best 10 will give out. Besides our 3 staples, only 3 of our 7 rotation guys showed up for this series.

    Pop put in the right rotations, the team brought the right energy, and 24 minutes of peak performance showed us we had every right to be in this game. Now if we had this effort in game 5 we would be talking about game 7 and not the offseason, but that’s the price we pay for giving this hungry and ultra talented thunder team an inch, they took a mile.

    At the start of the season I would have been pleased with this result, but expectation creep once we started maximizing our potential comes in and makes this tougher to stomach.

    Jax was the ultimate warrior this game, Kawhi played better than we had any right to expect a rookie to, Diaw has been a much needed cog for us (I leegitimately felt the game turn when he sat with foul trouble).

    So anger and frustration are here in spades, (50 50 calls go to the home team more often than no, what can you expect?) but not shame. Our guys played out of their minds all season and just ran into the one team that could match up with us.

    Now please let us keep Jax and Diaw, who knows what we can do when we can put this roster through a proper training camp next year? So the windows been smashed back, but hell, I’ll never doubt we are a contender each year untill we are finally not. These guys may have another run in them yet

  • Titletown99030507d

    Manu and Timmy could linger around a couple of more years but at reserve minutes and get the future rolling with infused talent with some of the pieces we already have with the 2nd unit. Lots of movement this summer but I think we’ll be right back in the chase for the playoffs. I’d rather be under the radar and at the 4th seed and win it all than overachieving and not getting to the big dance. I felt pretty bad for the boys last night but there’s next season and Timmy and Manu if this is their last year next season we can all say goodbye and remember the the great things they did for us. They made us Titletown. Thanks guys. 

  • Titletown99030507d

    I’m torn as to who to root for OKC or the East? I want to root against OKC in spite of them but on the contrary if they win it all it would be a reflection on our success in which we spawned a winning formula for not only small market teams but for any team which started right here in San antonio. We have to be proud out that. Our legacy as sports franchise will burn bright for years to come. So may the best team win.

  • http://405thunder.blogspot.com/ 405Thunder

    No, it definitely would have helped the Spurs if that call was made correctly. Like I said above, I won’t argue there were some questionable (OK – they were bad) calls. I’d be pretty upset, too, to be perfectly honest.

    The Spurs aren’t done, despite what a lot of the media seem to think. Your big three are still awesome. Kawhi Leonard is going to be a special player, and the Spurs are the best at getting the most out of players other teams wouldn’t touch. I have no doubt San Antonio will be back in it again next year.

  • http://405thunder.blogspot.com/ 405Thunder

    Thanks! I can’t promise every Thunder fan will be good at winning, but I hope most of them are. If they aren’t, send them my direction, and I’ll teach them how to respect their opponents, regardless of the outcome. Especially the ones like the Spurs that truly deserve respect.

  • http://twitter.com/Luke_Mellow Lukas Kuba

    Congrats Thunder, got a special group of guys, just a great team. And awesome fans out there, I really liked how they showed an appreciation of Spurs when Kenny Smith went into his speech… But me too have a feeling there shoulda been a G7. Both teams played beautiful basketball, what a great competition. WCF was NBA’s Real Finals this year. If it’s Boston in the Finals, you gonna sweep them. If it’s Miami, maybe they win 1 gm when LBJ & Wade both go into ‘unstoppable’ mode at the same time. Go Spurs Go! (PS: Geez I feel so f sad for Timmy not winning his 5th…)

  • Charles Frenkel

    While Duncan’s a great defender, they still need to go out and get someone who can block shots in the paint, to help Duncan out (I don’t know that Splitter’s the guy, since Popovich seems to have little patience with him, warranted or not).  Diaw is a good player, but he wasn’t the answer defensively, at least in the OKC series. 

  • Patrick Chewing

    It’s hilarious to see all the whining about refs and calls.  Like that’s why the Spurs lost…
    The Spurs were up by 15 at half time…15.  Refs can’t lose you a 15 point lead, you lose that yourself.  36 points in the second half.  Spurs got locked up and that’s all there is to it.  The Thunder took the victory.  You can cry to each other about this call, that call, and the refs all you want.  The Spurs had a huge lead in game 6, just like they had a huge 2-0 lead in the series.  The Spurs didn’t lose them, the Thunder took them both.  They took back the series, and they took that 2nd half last night.  I was incredibly impressed with the professionalism the Spurs showed in the loss.  I do my fair share of manu/parker hating, but that’s a classy humble team if I’ve ever seen one, going out the right way.

  • Len

    I don’t care who wins the finals.  The only thing I’m rooting for is for entertaining basketball.

    The only reason I’ll care who wins a game is if I decide to place a wager.

  • Nate21az

    In a the most recent NBA FlopMeter tally by neutral SportsUSA Inc.—which team is ranked Number 1 in flops?? Yes, sorry Spurs fans it is your beloved SA Spurs. Must be the “years of experience” in the NBA.

  • Len

    You’re such a loser.  

    Get lost troll

  • theghostofjh

    Agree. Unbelievable!

  • Patrick Chewing

    Losers, blame the refs, while ignoring facts.  Once again, it makes you easy to hate.

  • theghostofjh

    It’s a little early to have knee-jerk reactions about possible player personnel changes, don’t you think? After all, we just lost a hard fought WCF series in 6 games, the 6th of which was literally stolen by league officials.

  • theghostofjh

    I may not even watch the Finals. The league is now officially corrupted. League officials were literally an extra Thunder player on the court in the 4th quarter of game 6. The Thunder played well to storm back in the 3rd period. They’re a very good team. But none of that justifies what happened with the officiating in the pivotal 4th period. I’ve watch the NBA for decades, and I’ve NEVER seen anything like it. Not even close. This was unmitigated theft in no uncertain terms. I won’t be a party to fraud. Truth and fairness to me is bigger than the game of basketball.