2012 NBA Playoffs : Manu Ginobili’s 26 Points Spark Spurs 39-27 Fourth Quarter Run To Hold Off Thunder, 101-98, In Game 1 Of West Finals

By Robert D. Cobb

SAN ANTONIO – Thanks to a 39-27 fourth quarter run, the San Antonio Spurs would hold off the Oklahoma City Thunder, 101-98 in Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals.

Led by shooting guard Manu Ginobili’s 26 points—11 of which would come in the fourth quarter—the veteran Spurs would rally from a nine point deficit to win their 19th franchise-best straight game, and their ninth straight game in the playoffs.

San Antonio point guard Tony Parker would score 18 points on 6-of-15 shooting, grab eight rebounds, six assists and two steals. Spurs power forward Tim Duncan would score 16 points, 11 rebounds and one block on 6-of-15 shooting from the field.

Oklahoma City would be led by small forward Kevin Durant’s 27 points, ten rebounds, four assists on 8-of-17 shooting.

The 2012 NBA scoring champion would also record two steals and block three shots for the Thunder in a losing effort. Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook would add 17 points, five rebounds, five assists and two blocks on 7-of-21 shooting and sixth man, James Harden would score 19 points on 5-of-9 shooting from three-point range and grab six rebounds and two steals.

Down 71-62 at the start of the fourth quarter, Ginobili would help fuel the Spurs rally by making timely drives right through the middle of the Thunder’s defense and slick passes down low to Duncan on the pick-and-roll. San Antonio would make 12 of 16 shots and out-rebound Oklahoma City 9-7.

The dynamic duo of Westbrook and Durant would be held to a combined 11 points and shoot 2-of 7 from the field in what would prove to be the turning point of Game 1.

While it may still be Game 1, the Thunder missed a golden opportunity to steal a game on the floor of the top-seeded Spurs, and if they hope to gain a split, they must find another quality scoring option other than their “Big Three” of Westbrook, Harden and Westbrook if they hope to stand a chance.

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