No Duncan, No Problem
The Spurs defeated the OKC Thunder in OT last night 109-108 despite playing without Tim Duncan. It’s not that Duncan was hurt or anything, but Pop decided to rest him after he played 40 minutes the night before. Have no fear, DeJuan is here! Blair, who only played seven minutes in the previous game, played 31 minutes in this one and had a MONSTER game with 28 points and 21 rebounds before fouling out. The biggest play of the night, however, belonged to Manu Ginobili. With the Thunder up one and mere seconds left in the overtime period, an errant pass went off McDyess and Manu saved it with a ridiculous diving pass to George Hill in the corner who found Richard Jefferson for the game winning shot. Nine seconds left. Thunder miss. Game over. All is right with the world. Peep the video below to see for yourself.
- The Spurs had 13 turnovers last night which is still not great but at least it was less than the Thunder’s 16.
- The Spurs had a 50-45 rebounding edge over the Thunder. This may have been the difference in the game.
- The Spurs shot 45.3% from the field, 66.7% from the free throw line (16-of-24), and 31.8% from downtown (7-of-22).
- The Spurs had 56 points in the paint, but also allowed 54 from the Thunder. I will attribute some of that to the lack of Duncan in this game.
-The Spurs led by as many as 19 points, so while it was nice to see a great play that essentially won the game, we can’t overlook the fact that the Spurs let the Thunder claw their way back into this one in the first place.
Here is the part where I break down the interesting stat lines from the game from a fantasy basketball and an NBA fan’s perspective.
Spurs Notable Stat Lines
Tim Duncan: Nada. Zip. Zilch. Pop decided to rest him for this game, which on the one hand is good since it means keeping him healthy for the playoffs, but on the other hand it pisses me off since I had him starting in one of my fantasy leagues. Argh.
DeJuan Blair: 28 points, 21 rebounds (10 offensive), 2 steals, 2 blocks. He needs to work on staying out of foul trouble, but other than that – wow. He also shot 6-of-8 from the foul line which is a nice improvement for him.
Tony Parker: 28 points, 8 assists, 1 rebound. Pretty good game, but he had four turnovers again. *sigh*
Antonio McDyess: 13 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist. Aside from nearly mucking the game by not being ready for the Manu pass, he was pretty steady. He seems better fit to come off the bench.
George Hill: 16 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal. Hey, that’s two solid games in a row for Hill. Good thing too since Bogans and Mason weren’t really that sharp last night. Hill ended up playing 40 minutes.
Richard Jefferson: 13 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block. An alright game, but he didn’t do much to keep Durant from going off for 35 points. He gets a pass though since he hit the game winner.
Manu Ginobili: 2 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block. He shot 0-of-10 from the field but had the biggest play of the game with that save. A lesser player would mope around while having an off night, but Manu stepped up with his hustle as evidenced by his assists, rebounds, steals and the save (which won’t show up in the box score).
Thunder Notable Stat Lines
Kevin Durant: 35 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block. He had another great night offensively, but he turned the ball over 7 times. The rest of the team had 9 turnovers.
Russell Westbrook: 25 points, 13 assists, 6 rebounds. Nice game from Westbrook who continues to develop into a solid NBA point guard. He just needs to get more consistent with his shot. He shot 9-of-24 from the field (37.5%) and is shooting 40.2% for the season. That is probably the biggest thing holding him back from being among the elite point guards.
Jeff Green: 16 points, 10 rebounds, 1 steal. Another good game from Green. Nothing too spectacular, but he is consistent.
James Harden: 12 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal. He had an alright game, but he is still a little too inconsistent to start in most fantasy leagues. If he ever moves into the starting lineup over Thabo Sefolosha then things may change.
In Other News
-Dirk Nowitzki surpassed the 20,000 points mark last night in a loss to the Lakers.
-Blake Griffin is done for the season since his knee isn’t healing quite right.
-The NBA Cares campaign is addressing the disaster in Haiti, feel free to help here.