Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Sports

Spurs overwhelm Thunder

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — LaMarcus Aldridge had 38 points and the Spurs dismantled the Thunder 124-92 Saturday night, never trailing in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal series.

Kawhi Leonard added 25 points, five rebounds and five assists in 22 minutes for San Antonio. The Spurs led by as many as 43 points and sat their starters in the fourth quarter to rest them for Game 2 on Monday night.

"We had a great night, and they had one of their bad nights," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

Aldridge broke out for his finest performance of the season after Memphis held him to 14.5 points per game in the first round, nearly seven below his regular-season numbers. Aldridge shot 18-of-23 from the field, including his first 3-pointer of the season and a banked-in left-handed scoop shot as he was falling in the lane.

Leonard and Aldridge combined for 45 points in the first half, outscoring Oklahoma City as a team by four. Unfortunately for the Thunder, the rest of the Spurs were just as impressive early.

San Antonio matched a postseason franchise record for points in a quarter with 43 in the first.

Serge Ibaka led Oklahoma City with 19 points but was limited to two rebounds.

Kevin Durant had 16 points and Russell Westbrook added 14, but they were harassed into 11-of-34 shooting.

"We're going to have to come out and play harder," Westbrook said. "We'll look at the film and make some adjustments and get ready for Game 2."

The Spurs scored the most postseason points against the Thunder. They had 39 assists, more than the Thunder's field-goal total of 35.

San Antonio shot 82 percent in the opening quarter, including 3-of-4 on 3-pointers in taking a 23-point lead. The Spurs also blocked six shots, collapsing and surrounding the Thunder with multiple defenders whenever they drove into the lane.

The only scare came when Leonard grabbed the back of his left leg after landing on it awkwardly off a powerful one-handed dunk on the game's opening possession. Popovich paced the sideline in concern, asking Leonard, "Are you okay?" on the Spurs' ensuing possession. Leonard didn't respond verbally, but his dynamic efforts on both ends of the court answered Popovich's concerns.

He shot 10-of-13 from the field and had only one turnover while guarding Westbrook and Durant.

Oklahoma City was noticeably frustrated and out of sorts throughout. Durant refused to even discuss his emotions after the game, "because it's over with."

Spurs 124, Thunder 92

OKLAHOMA CITY (92): Durant 6-15 4-4 16, Ibaka 8-15 0-0 19, Adams 4-7 1-2 9, Westbrook 5-19 4-4 14, Roberson 0-2 0-0 0, Singler 0-1 0-0 0, Waiters 3-6 5-7 11, Kanter 3-7 0-2 6, Payne 1-6 0-0 3, Collison 1-1 0-0 2, Foye 2-4 0-0 5, Morrow 1-1 2-2 5, Mohammed 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 35-85 16-21 92.

SAN ANTONIO (124): Leonard 10-13 4-4 25, Aldridge 18-23 1-1 38, Duncan 4-7 0-2 8, Parker 1-3 0-0 2, Green 6-7 1-1 18, Ginobili 1-2 3-3 6, Anderson 1-5 0-0 2, West 2-4 1-2 5, Mills 1-4 1-3 3, Diaw 3-4 0-0 6, Martin 1-7 0-0 2, Miller 2-3 0-0 5, Marjanovic 1-2 2-2 4. Totals 51-84 13-18 124.

Oklahoma City 20 20 26 26— 92

San Antonio 43 30 32 19— 124

3-Point GoalsOklahoma City 6-23 (Ibaka 3-6, Morrow 1-1, Foye 1-2, Payne 1-3, Singler 0-1, Kanter 0-1, Roberson 0-2, Waiters 0-2, Durant 0-2, Westbrook 0-3), San Antonio 9-15 (Green 5-6, Ginobili 1-1, Miller 1-1, Aldridge 1-1, Leonard 1-2, Martin 0-1, Anderson 0-1, Mills 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsOklahoma City 45 (Adams 10), San Antonio 48 (Anderson 7). AssistsOklahoma City 23 (Westbrook 9), San Antonio 39 (Parker 12). Total FoulsOklahoma City 13, San Antonio 16. TechnicalsWestbrook, West. A18,418 (18,797).

LAKERS HIRE WALTON: Luke Walton was in no rush to leave his job as an assistant coach with the Warriors.

He won an NBA championship his first season, went 39-4 as interim coach in place of Steve Kerr to start this season and was part of a team that won a record 73 games.

But when the Lakers came calling, Walton could not turn down the team he began his career with and which he helped win two NBA titles.

"I was very comfortable with the idea of coming back here and coaching again next year with this team and Steve," Walton said a day after being named Los Angeles' coach. "I was fine with that. But you have to take the opportunities when they come."

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