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Spurs win opener to run string to 19

Spurs guard Manu Ginobili heads to the rim during his 26-point night in Game 1 of the West final against the Thunder. Ginobili and the Spurs have won 19 in a row, regular and postseason combined, after their 101-98 victory.

Associated Press

Spurs guard Manu Ginobili heads to the rim during his 26-point night in Game 1 of the West final against the Thunder. Ginobili and the Spurs have won 19 in a row, regular and postseason combined, after their 101-98 victory.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Manu Ginobili scored 26 and the Spurs won their 19th in a row to tie the NBA record for longest winning streak kept alive in the playoffs, beating the Thunder 101-98 Sunday to open the Western final.

Obeying orders by coach Gregg Popovich during a fourth-quarter timeout to play "nasty," the Spurs erased a nine-point deficit that stunned the Thunder.

Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 27 points. Russell Westbrook had 17.

The 2001 Lakers are the only other team to carry a winning streak this long in the playoffs, and they did so on their way to a championship.

The Spurs matched the fourth-longest streak in NBA history, and with one more will become the fourth team to surpass 20.

Tim Duncan had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Tony Parker shook off a dismal start to finish with 18 points. But it was Ginobili who steered the Spurs to strike first.

"They got us on our heels. We were not aggressive," Ginobili said. "And in the second half, we did have it."

On the other end, Oklahoma City's stars struggled to find their shot early before awakening in the second half. Yet Westbrook finished just 6-for-15 and took a facefirst spill late in the fourth. He appeared to favor his left leg when he got up, but he never left the game.

Durant, Westbrook and James Harden at one point through the second quarter were 5-for-21 — an ominous stat line for a trio that had been responsible for nearly 70 percent of Oklahoma City's points through the playoffs.

OKLAHOMA CITY (98): Durant 8-19 11-12 27, Ibaka 1-3 3-3 5, Perkins 1-4 3-4 5, Westbrook 7-21 1-2 17, Sefolosha 3-7 0-0 7, Harden 7-17 0-0 19, Collison 2-3 1-2 5, Fisher 6-8 0-0 13, Cook 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 35-83 19-23 98.

SAN ANTONIO (101): Leonard 3-9 0-0 7, Duncan 6-15 4-6 16, Diaw 4-6 0-0 8, Parker 6-15 5-7 18, Green 0-6 0-0 0, Ginobili 9-14 5-5 26, Bonner 0-2 0-0 0, Neal 5-9 0-0 12, Splitter 4-5 1-5 9, S.Jackson 1-2 2-2 5. Totals 38-83 17-25 101.

Oklahoma City 18 29 24 27— 98

San Antonio 24 22 16 39— 101

3-Point GoalsOklahoma City 9-23 (Harden 5-9, Westbrook 2-3, Fisher 1-3, Sefolosha 1-3, Cook 0-1, Durant 0-4), San Antonio 8-24 (Ginobili 3-5, Neal 2-4, S.Jackson 1-2, Parker 1-2, Leonard 1-3, Diaw 0-1, Bonner 0-2, Green 0-5). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsOklahoma City 48 (Durant 10), San Antonio 57 (Duncan 11). AssistsOklahoma City 18 (Westbrook 5), San Antonio 22 (Parker 6). Total FoulsOklahoma City 24, San Antonio 18. A18,581.

Haslem admits retaliation: Heat forward Udonis Haslem acknowledged that he meant to foul the Pacers' Tyler Hansbrough in retaliation for a hard foul on Heat guard Dwyane Wade, the Miami Herald reported.

Haslem suggested Saturday that he would do it again. "I can't imagine anything I wouldn't do for Dwyane," Haslem, who was suspended for Game 6, said now that Miami has finished off Indiana.

When Wade fell bleeding near Haslem, the former Gator said he thought: "Okay, that's how it is going to be tonight? Okay. Let's do that then."

Haslem delivered his message with the foul later.

"It is all fun and games to beat up the Heat in the media, to say the Heat are soft," he said. "But as soon as the Heat take a stand and hit back, it's not funny anymore."

East final

Heat (2) vs. Celtics (4)

Tonight: at Miami, 8:30, ESPN

Wednesday: at Miami, 8:30, ESPN

Friday: at Boston, 8:30, ESPN

June 3: at Boston, 8:30, ESPN

June 5: at Miami, 8:30, ESPN *

June 7: at Boston, 8:30, ESPN *

June 9: at Miami, 8:30, ESPN *

West final

Spurs 1, Thunder 0

Sunday: Spurs 101, Thunder 98

Tuesday: at San Antonio, 9, TNT

Thursday: at Oklahoma City, 9, TNT

Saturday: at Oklahoma City, 8:30, TNT

June 4: at San Antonio, 9, TNT *

June 6: at Oklahoma City, 9, TNT *

June 8: at San Antonio, 9, TNT *

* If necessary

Spurs win opener to run string to 19 05/27/12 [Last modified: Monday, May 28, 2012 12:18am]
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