Sunday, March 18, 2018

Thunder ends Spurs' win streak

OKLAHOMA CITY — The chant of "OKC! OKC!" rose from the fans at Chesapeake Energy Arena midway through the fourth quarter, perhaps a reminder to the Spurs that the Western Conference final wasn't going to be a stroll into history.

Behind Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and a renewed defensive aggressiveness, the Thunder put an emphatic end Thursday night to one of the great winning streaks in NBA history, routing San Antonio 102-82.

The Thunder cut its series deficit to 2-1. After being ripped for 120 points in Game 2, Oklahoma City dug in on defense and allowed 40 percent shooting.

The Thunder led by as many as 22 in the third quarter and took a 78-60 lead into the fourth.

The Spurs had their winning streak stopped at 20 games, tying the 1971 Bucks for third-longest in league history.

San Antonio's Tim Duncan was only 4-of-12 for nine points, but he had four blocks in the first half to set the NBA career postseason record, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's mark of 476.

"We just talked about being a defensive team," said Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks. "We gave up 120 points. You have to defend in this league to be a team that is special."

SAN ANTONIO (82): Leonard 1-3 0-1 2, Duncan 5-15 1-2 11, Diaw 0-2 1-1 1, Parker 6-12 2-2 16, Green 1-3 0-0 3, Ginobili 1-5 5-5 8, S.Jackson 6-7 0-0 16, Bonner 0-4 0-0 0, Splitter 0-0 1-2 1, Neal 3-11 0-0 7, Anderson 1-2 1-2 4, Mills 1-5 0-0 3, Blair 5-7 0-0 10. Totals 30-76 11-15 82.

OKLAHOMA CITY (102): Durant 8-17 6-6 22, Ibaka 5-9 4-4 14, Perkins 2-4 0-0 4, Westbrook 5-15 0-0 10, Sefolosha 7-16 1-1 19, Harden 5-10 4-4 15, Collison 3-3 0-0 6, Fisher 2-7 0-0 5, Cook 1-2 0-0 2, Ivey 1-3 0-0 2, Aldrich 0-1 1-2 1, Hayward 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 40-88 16-17 102.

San Antonio 24 17 19 22— 82

Oklahoma City 22 32 24 24— 102

3-Point GoalsSan Antonio 11-26 (S.Jackson 4-5, Parker 2-4, Ginobili 1-2, Anderson 1-2, Neal 1-3, Mills 1-3, Green 1-3, Leonard 0-1, Bonner 0-3), Oklahoma City 6-22 (Sefolosha 4-10, Harden 1-2, Fisher 1-3, Ivey 0-1, Westbrook 0-2, Durant 0-4). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsSan Antonio 48 (Leonard, Ginobili, Blair 6), Oklahoma City 51 (Perkins 8). AssistsSan Antonio 18 (Neal 5), Oklahoma City 23 (Westbrook 9). Total FoulsSan Antonio 19, Oklahoma City 16. TechnicalsDurant. Flagrant Fouls—Sefolosha. A18,203 (18,203).

lil wayne stir: The Thunder said rapper Lil Wayne is welcome to attend a playoff game in Oklahoma City but needs to buy a ticket like everyone else.

Lil Wayne created a stir Thursday night by posting on Twitter that he was "going to go to the Thunder game tonight but was denied by the team to be in their arena."

Thunder spokesman Dan Mahoney said Lil Wayne's representatives contacted the team requesting tickets but insisted that he sit in the front row, and none of those seats were available. Oklahoma City has sold out every home game during the regular season and playoffs.

Lil Wayne ended his tweet with "Go Spurs!"

Celtics steaming

MIAMI — While Celtics guard Rajon Rondo is being lauded for one of the most spectacular individual performances in playoff history, it was a non-foul call on his missed layup that drew the most attention in the aftermath of Miami's 115-111 victory Wednesday night.

Replays showed that Heat guard Dwyane Wade hit Rondo in the face on Rondo's missed reverse layup attempt with 1:35 left in overtime of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final. Rondo fell, and the Heat took advantage with a dunk by Udonis Haslem for a 107-105 lead.

Rondo had to be held back from the officials after the play, then he and coach Doc Rivers tried to stay quiet later to avoid fines for questioning the officials.

But guard Ray Allen didn't care.

"We all thought he got hit," Allen said. "I'll say it. He did, but what can you do about it?"

Rondo said his 44-point, 10-assist, eight-rebound outing was "irrelevant" in the loss, which put Boston down 2-0 in the series. He sat stone faced when asked about the non-call. "It was obvious," he said. "I can't comment on that particular play. It's part of the game. Things don't go your way. That was a big swing. A lot of controversy out there."

Rivers brought up the 47-29 disparity in free throws.

"Can you come up with another percentage for me?" Rivers asked a reporter who said the calls were 50-50. "LeBron James took 24 free throws, and our team took 29. I tell my guys it doesn't matter, we can't get distracted. We're not going to blame. We have to play better."

Celtics guard Paul Pierce also wasn't happy with the officials, saying he shouldn't have been called for his sixth foul when he went chest to chest with a driving Wade at the rim. "It was tough. You got Wade coming down the lane. I thought it was a good play by me, straight up, jumping up," he said.

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Published: 03/18/18