Spurs win first game, 122-105

By George Devine, Sr.

Sometimes a key to a game is not who plays, but who doesn’t. That seemed the case in San Antonio tonight when the Thunder’s Serge Ibaka was absent due to a calf injury, which will keep him on the sidelines throughout the postseason. Without him on defense, the Spurs scored 66 points in the paint, more than enough to make the difference in game 1 of this round in the west.

The Spurs led in all quarters but the third, when Oklahoma City led 23-22. The rest of the game belonged to the home team, especially in the final frame when San Antonio led 33-23. Tim Duncan was the sparkplug, with 27 points and 7 rebounds, 5 of them on defense. A well-guarded Tony Parker — returning to action after a hamstring injury — scored only 4 points, but contributed 12 valuable assists. Manu Ginobili demonstrated his ability to drive to the basket, scoring 18, and Danny Green had 16 as did Kawhi Leonard, who also had 3 steals.

For OKC, Kevin Durant was in for most of the evening (40:48) and scored 28 points, but was in foul trouble with 4. He had 9 boards, all but one on defense. Russell Westbrook scored 25 and had 7 assists. Derek Fisher scored 16 and Reggie Jackson 13.

The Thunder shot only 46.3% on field goals, compared to the Spurs’ 57.5%; on treys the ratio was 44.4%-57.9%, and from the line the visitors were a formidable 82.6% to San Antonio’s 76.5%.

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