Wednesday, May 30 at 8:11 AM
The Spurs did more than take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals with a 120-111 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night at the AT&T Center.
They made some NBA history for good measure.
In winning their 20th consecutive game, the Spurs broke the league record for the longest winning streak sustained in the playoffs. The 2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers won 19 in a row before losing to the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
The Lakers bounced back to win the championship, which is the only objective the Spurs say they're focused on.
"It's great and it is a great run, but we are only worried about the next two wins in this series," Spurs forward and team captain Tim Duncan said. "That is all that matters at this point and if that makes it 22 in a row, that would be great. These next two wins are the most important things to us right now."
The Western Conference finals shift to Oklahoma City for the next two games. Game 3 is set for 8 p.m. Thursday and Game 4 tips off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
After looking lethargic and rusty in their 101-98 victory in the series opener Sunday, the Spurs never trailed Tuesday night and built a 22-point lead in the second half before the Thunder pulled to win six in the fourth quarter.
Parker scored 34 points in Game 2
Ahead 55-44 at halftime, the Spurs outscored the Thunder 37-32 in the third quarter to take a 92-76 lead into the fourth period. But Oklahoma City, which trailed 80-58 with 4:47 left in the third quarter, outscored the Silver & Black 35-28 in the final period to make things interesting.
The Thunder cut the deficit to 99-93 before the Spurs put down the rally by hitting some big shots in the fourth quarter.
"OKC is a very good team," point guard Tony Parker said. "In the third quarter, everything went our way and ball movement was great. In the fourth quarter, they played better defense.
"They made stops, and they just came at us one-on-one, full speed. Our transition defense was not very good in the fourth quarter. So there is a lot of stuff we can watch on film tomorrow because we're going to have to do better."
After sweeping the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers in the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Spurs are halfway to taking the broom to the Thunder.
Parker was outstanding against the Thunder in Game 2, leading all scorers with 34 points and dishing out eight assists. He hit 16 of shots from the field, including 1 of 2 from beyond 3-point range.
"It was just one of those nights," Parker said. "I felt in a good rhythm early on. I was making my outside shots and just trying to be aggressive."
Ginobili also played outstanding defense
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich praised Parker for his stellar performance.
"Well, Tony's been great all year," Popovich said. "He's been really focused the entire season. What he did tonight, we've seen many times before, so it's not a surprise. But he was excellent. He played a fantastic game in a lot of ways."
Backup guard Manu Ginobili scored 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. He was also 7 of 8 from the free-throw line.
Rookie forward Kawhi Leonard finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Duncan also recorded another double-double, scoring 11 points and adding 12 rebounds. Guard Danny Green, who went 0 for 6 in Game 1, had 10 points.
"I thought we played great and we got it up to 22 playing very sharp and making shots," Ginobili said. "After that, they took over for a bit because they are talented and very gifted. They run and make shots."
The Thunder's big three scored 88 of Okahoma City's points. Kevin Durant led the way with 31 points, and James Harden and Russell Westbrook finished with 30 and 27 points, respectively.
With the victory the Spurs became only the fourth team in NBA history to win at least 20 consecutive games.