Based on last season, it might have been reasonable to expect the Spurs and the Thunder to be rattling the heck out of the scoreboard. Surely I wasn’t anticipating an 86-84 grinder with fifteen lead changes; but that’s what we got, with Tony Parker floating a trey at the 28-second mark to tie it up, and then popping a jumper right at the buzzer to give San Antonio the win.
Of course, what everybody wanted to know tonight was “How well does Kevin Martin play the role made famous by James Harden?” The answer, at least for this evening, is “Not bad at all”: 15 points, five assists, and only one turnover. In fact, K-Mart was +6 for the night, higher than anyone else on the team. Still, the Thunder shot only 38 percent for the night and turned the ball over 18 times, and not even a Kevin Durant double-double (23 points, 14 rebounds) and darn near from Russell Westbrook (18 points, eight rebounds, five assists) would push OKC over the top. Still, that 70-footer by Eric Maynor at the third-quarter horn was pretty, wasn’t it?
The Spurs landed five in double figures, led by the iron horse Tim Duncan, who at the age of 92 (or whatever) still can get 20 points and eight boards in 34 minutes. Parker was no slouch either, with 14 points and 11 dimes. And somehow Pop got 35 good minutes out of Boris freaking Diaw, with ten points, seven boards, and a game-high +11. It must be in the water down there or something.
So 82-0 is out. And 0-1 will last for only one night; tomorrow the Thunder return home, and the perhaps-improved Trail Blazers will be waiting for them. I’m not even going to make a prediction, despite the fact that Portland has already beaten the Lakers. (As Tramel said this morning, both Kobe and Steve Nash are over the hill, having been born in the Seventies, fercryingoutloud. Thanks for nothing, Berry.)