Manu Ginobili scored 26 points as the Spurs, who are undefeated in the playoffs, beat the Thunder in the first game of the Western Conference finals.
The Western Conference finals aren’t as glamorous as the matchup in the East, but its combatants were 16-1 in the playoffs entering Sunday’s game.
Philadelphia knocked off Chicago in the opening round and stretched Boston to a Game 7, but now comes the hard part — turning the Sixers into a consistent championship contender.
Trailing in the fourth quarter, Gregg Popovich snarled an order in the huddle that the NBA Coach of the Year punctuated with a sharp and angry sweep of his hand.
The Oklahoma City Thunder almost did it: Almost stopped one of the longest winning streaks in NBA history, started the Western Conference finals with an upset and finally shed their underdog label.
The San Antonio Spurs taught Oklahoma City a lesson in championship poise with a 101-98 win on Sunday that stretched their remarkable win streak to 19 games and earned them a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.
It’s a catchphrase likely coming soon to fan T-shirts, Internet memes and the lexicon of the NBA playoffs for the foreseeable future.
In 2010, Boston ousted Dwyane Wade in the first round and LeBron James in the second round. A year later, Wade and James were teammates and turned the tables, sending the Celtics into the offseason.
The San Antonio Spurs gave Oklahoma City a lesson in championship poise with a 101-98 victory on Sunday that stretched their remarkable win streak to 19 games and gave them the early advantage in the Western Conference Finals.
It would be easy to label the Western Conference finals as a battle of young versus old, but that may be unfair to the San Antonio Spurs as it is not clear that Tim Duncan actually ages.