(San Antonio, TX)—
After a decent start, on both ends of the floor, the Oklahoma City Thunder completely melted down at the end of the second period to trail the San Antonio Spurs 58-44 at halftime of game #2 of their NBA Western Conference finals playoff series.
The Thunder played solid defense in the opening dozen minutes, and had a 26-24 lead even though they shot poorly in the first quarter. Foul trouble started to creep in as the 2nd period developed and then San Antonio took full advantage of erratic play for OKC on both ends of the court near the end of the half.
OKC led 34-31 with 8:37 left in the half when San Antonio went on a 12-2 run behind the stellar offensive play of veteran guard Tony Parker. With his drives and impressive passing, Parker has already matched his point total from the 1st game with 14 at intermission.
After a Kevin Durant lob slam cut the Spurs lead to 50-44, San Antonio went on an 8-pt. spurt to end the half as OKC missed shots, turned it over, left Spurs shooters wide open and couldn’t rebound. The most painful sequence was THREE San Antonio shots that missed, but the Spurs grabbed every rebound and Manu Ginobili drilled a deep “3” as the sellout crowd went nuts with :33 left before halftime.
Durant and fellow all-star Russell Westbrook had a heated exchange during a timeout late in the half, and the dandy duo is having a tough shooting night. At halftime, they have combined for 9-26 shooting with each scoring 11 points. Durant is 4-11 while Westbrook is 5-15 and OKC is just 2-9 shooting from behind the 3-point line.
San Antonio continued it’s dominance on inside scoring with 26 points “in the paint”. But the Thunder managed to tally 18 points in-close too. Fouls could be an issue in the 2nd half with Kendrick Perkins and Derek Fisher saddled with 3 each while Durant, Nick Collison, Perry Jones and Steven Adams have 2 apiece.
Game #3 in the series shifts back to Oklahoma City Sunday night at “the Peake” downtown, but the Thunder will have to work ALOT harder in the final half of this one, to square the series at a victory apiece.