Second curse, same as the first

Pretty much anything the Spurs did to the Thunder in Game 1, they did again in Game 2: they found holes in the OKC defense, they put up shots you wouldn’t believe — even Manu Ginobili might not believe them, and he was responsible for several of them — and while OKC fought back from a 22-point deficit in the third quarter, they would remain at least two possessions back for the rest of the night, as the Spurs eased out to a two-game lead with a 120-111 win.

The San Antonio offensive machine was in high tune: the Spurs actually took ten fewer shots than the Thunder, but sank six more. If the Thunder doubled them up on offensive rebounds — 16 versus 8 — well, if the shot goes in, you don’t need the offensive rebound, do you? The pesky Texans made 55 percent of their shots, the Thunder only 42. And Tony Parker was in his own private zone: he went 16-21 from the floor for a game-high 34. Ginobili, in a third less tome, racked up 20; both Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard posted double-doubles, having snared rebounds in mass quantities.

Scott Brooks had allowed before the game that maybe he should have played Serge Ibaka more on Sunday night. And Serge turned in a reasonable, if not noteworthy, performance. Unfortunately, these are the playoffs, where “Screw reasonable!” is the desideratum. Kevin Durant got 31 points somehow; James Harden got 30, and might have gotten some more had he not fouled out. And did we get the Good Russell or the Bad Russell tonight? We got the Good Russell That Doesn’t Shoot All That Well: he scored 27 on 10-24 shooting and a trio of treys, and didn’t turn the ball over so much as once while serving up eight dimes. If he ever maxes all the categories out, he’s dangerous.

But right now danger has to take second place to figuring out a way to beat the Spurs four of the next five. It can be done. But I’m not lying awake at night thinking up plays.







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