clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Thunder end Spurs season with a convincing win, 111-97

New, comments

An abysmal first half for the Spurs proved to be too much to overcome and the Thunder are back in the Conference Finals after a one-year absence.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Spurs finished the regular season with the third most efficient offense in the league and it wasn't hard to see that things have changed quite a bit when watching the first half of this game. San Antonio finished with a meager 31 points on 31% from the floor and 0-for-9 from deep. Those 31 points were the lowest total for any half this season for the Spurs.

It started off well enough for San Antonio and after eight minutes of play they held a six-point advantage over the Thunder. Then the second-half of the bench unit checked in, this time with Kevin Martin and Kyle Anderson, and the last few wheels that the Spurs were still rolling on completely fell off. Over the last 16 minutes of the half the Thunder outscored the Spurs 42-12.

With nothing left to try, Gregg Popovich finally opted to go small to start the third quarter and went with Manu Ginobili instead of Tim Duncan. And the offense immediately picked up for San Antonio and the Spurs scored 31 points, you'll recall that was the first half total for the Spurs, in less than 10 minutes. The problem was that the Spurs gave up 32 in that span with Duncan sitting for the first six minutes of the quarter.

At one point the Thunder's lead ballooned to 28 but the Spurs made the contest much more interesting than it should have been with a solid run over the first eight minutes of the fourth quarter and outscored the Thunder 23-8 to make it an 11 point game with 3:45 left to play. Tim, with a little help from fellow 40-year old Andre Miller, came back to life in the last 18 minutes of the game and finished the game with 19 points on 50% from the field and a team-high plus-12 for the night.

If tonight was the end of Tim's career he went out playing well. That wasn't a given after a poor showing in the first five games. I'm sure plenty of Spurs fans just weren't prepared to see Big Fun actually be done. San Antonio was dealt an earlier exit than Spurs fans expected but at least they got to see Tim put up a throwback performance in what could be his final game.