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NBA Lines - Spurs Take Game One

Posted by Elio Masi on 5/29/2012 12:37:15 PM

NBA Lines – Spurs Take Game One

After what was a relatively close game for three quarters, the San Antonio Spurs were finally able to pull away from Oklahoma City late in the game and take the 1-0 lead in the NBA lines Western Conference Finals. Manu Ginobili led the charge with 26 points, helping the Spurs to a 101-98 finish over the Thunder at the AT&T Center.

San Antonio’s true success came from the paint, where they outscored Oklahoma City 50-26 throughout the game and 16-2 in the fourth quarter alone. Both Tim Duncan and Tony Parker had good games for the Spurs as well, collecting 16 and 18 points respectively. San Antonio has yet to lose in the 2012 NBA lines playoffs and are currently riding a 19 game unbeaten streak dating back to the regular season. The last time that was done was in 2001 by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Despite OKC’s nine-point lead going into the final quarter, the Thunder were unable to close out and were outscored 39-27 in the frame. Kevin Durant, who was exceptional early on, only took two shots from the floor during the fourth despite collecting 27 points.

After the game, Spurs coach Gregg Popvich had this to say, “The heat of the game, stuff comes up. I thought we were playing a bit unconfidently, kind of on our heels, a little bit unsure of ourselves, on the dribble too much. So I talked to them about getting a little bit more ugly, get a little nastier, play with more fiber and take it to those guys. We got that way in the fourth quarter.”

San Antonio will need to improve on their start if they want to take a 2-0 lead over Oklahoma City. They were a little lucky that the Thunder imploded in the fourth and they were able to rally and pull away. Ginobili was a huge part of that comeback. He went 3-of-3 from the floor and 5-of-5 from the line during the fourth, collecting 11 points in the process.

Durant looked dangerous for Oklahoma City from the beginning and it didn't take too long for Popvich to notice. He decided to switch out rookie Kawhi Leonard and allow veteran Jackson to guard the superstar instead. The matchup was quite intriguing and allowed for a very physical effort from the both of them. It’ll be interesting to see the matchups Popvich goes with for game two but Jackson and Durant should still be going toe to toe come Tuesday.

The Spurs had 14 turnovers throughout the first half and clamped down to only let up three in the second. If they could keep controlling their turnover count, their undefeated season will be extended a little longer. Durant, Westbrook and Harden combined for 4-of-21 from the floor and will need to be better if the Thunder are to end the Spurs 19 game winning streak.

Elio’s Edge

They’re undefeated for a reason and playing at the AT&T Center once more, it’ll be difficult for the Thunder to walk away with the win. However, I have to feel that Durant, Westbrook and Harden will all be better for game two. If they could improve their numbers from the floor, they might be able to run away with the victory. Solid efforts from OKC’s big three will allow the Thunder to pull away early and stay there. Going with a 102-94 NBA lines finish for the Thunder on Tuesday night.


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