Read a preview and watch a live stream of the Thunder vs the Spurs.
Where: Game 2 – Western Conference Finals – AT&T Center, San Antonio.
When: Thursday May 22, 02:00 BST
Watch live: Click here to watch on BT Sport online!
The San Antonio Spurs made the most of Serge Ibaka’s absence and limited those around Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to take Game 1 in the Western Conference Finals.
Oklahoma City Thunder’s dynamic duo gave everything they had to give their team the lead in the third quarter, but ultimately they ran out of steam and the support wasn’t there to silence their rivals.
Tim Duncan made the most of Ibaka’s absence through injury by scoring freely inside the paint, while team-mate Tony Parker attacked the lanes knowing that there was space to exploit.
It has become a trait of this Spurs team under coach Gregg Popovich that they can get contributions from across the roster, and although the Thunder did get help from their bench through Caron Butler and Reggie Jackson, ultimately it wasn’t enough.
Popovich conceded that they can’t stop Westbrook and Durant, but he intends on making it as difficult as possible for them and their team-mates to get involved, but there is no doubt that Ibaka is a huge loss for the Thunder on both ends.
The Spurs scored 66 points in the paint as the visitors decided to go with a smaller line-up to be more effective on the offensive end, and while it did pay dividends at times, it also allowed Duncan to score easily and gave Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard the time to get to the basket with ease.
Naturally in the post-season, teams will be expected to make adjustments and improve, but this could be a fairly short series if the Thunder fail to come up with a plan to be more solid on defense.