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SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs were not going to believe Serge Ibaka was really injured until the Oklahoma City Thunder to • Absender: jokergreen0220, 28.12.2017 09:19

SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs were not going to believe Serge Ibaka was really injured until the Oklahoma City Thunder took the court in the opener of the Western Conference finals without their athletic big man. Mohamed Elneny Jersey . Their skepticism was unwarranted. Ibaka is indeed injured and Oklahoma City needs to find a way to replace his defensive presence against San Antonio. Tim Duncan had 27 points and the Spurs took advantage of Ibakas absence to score more than half their points in the paint, beating the Thunder 122-105 Monday night in the opener of the best-of-seven series. Tony Parker did not appear limited by a hamstring injury, adding 14 points and 12 assists in 36 minutes in San Antonios first victory over Oklahoma City this season. Parker and coach Gregg Popovich both said earlier they werent sure if the Thunder would actually be without Ibaka, who injured his left calf in Oklahoma Citys series clincher against the Los Angeles Clippers. "Contrary to what San Antonio was thinking, hes not coming back," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. Thats bad news for Oklahoma City entering Game 2 on Wednesday. San Antonio had 66 points in the paint and shot 58 per cent from the field. It was the highest shooting percentage allowed by the Thunder in the post-season since relocating from Seattle. The Thunder got their usual offensive output from All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who scored 28 and 25 points, respectively. But Oklahoma Citys remaining starters, Nick Collison, Thabo Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins, combined to score five points with 13 rebounds and one assist. Collison started in place of Ibaka and was 0 for 3 from the field with three rebounds and one blocked shot. Ibaka was averaging 12.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.23 blocks in 33.9 minutes in the post-season. "We play team defence, we dont just rely on Serge," Durant said. "He does a great job of blocking shots, but its all because of our team defence. Hes a big part of what we do. Hes a starter, had his best season this year, so of course were going to miss his presence, but we have guys that are going to step up and do it collectively." San Antonio planned to attack Oklahoma Citys interior whether Ibaka was playing or not, and found it much easier to do without the athletic 6-foot-10 forward. "We always want to try to penetrate," Parker said. "We always want our ball movement, thats how we play -- kick and pitch and stuff like that. You know, obviously its a little bit better with (Ibaka) not being in the paint, but were still going to try to penetrate and make stuff happen." The Spurs fed Duncan early and the veteran responded by scoring 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the opening quarter. Parker, who sustained a Grade 1 left hamstring strain in San Antonios series clincher against Portland, drove the paint and dished to Duncan early before looking for his own shot midway through the quarter. "Thats part of our game plan," Duncan said. "He knew that they werent going to let him shoot the ball like he did in the last series. They were going to try to take that away from him, so he knew he was going to have to be an assist man." Parker scored all but two of his points in the first half. Manu Ginobili took over in the second half, scoring all 18 of his points with a series of breakneck drives and 3-for-4 shooting on 3-pointers. "Just got to do a better job of closing the paint off," Westbrook said. "I thought we did a better job in the second half of just putting more pressure on them, making it tough for them to get inside the paint." After starting Collison and bringing in 7-foot post Steven Adams to spell him and Perkins, Oklahoma City continually altered its lineup in an attempt to derail San Antonios attack. At one point the Thunder had Westbrook and fellow point guards Reggie Jackson and Derek Fisher on the court with Durant playing the post defensively. Duncan responded by dropping in a running hook on Durant. "Were going to have to find lineups that work," Brooks said. "I have faith in all of our guys to step in and do the job, no matter who we put on the floor." With the exception of a pair of free throws by Fisher, Westbrook and Durant scored all of Oklahoma Citys points in a 23-22 third quarter. The Thunder rallied to take a 76-75 lead on Westbrooks 17-foot jumper with 5 minutes left in the third quarter for their first lead since the opening basket of the game. "I think we need more from everybody defensively," Brooks said. "We scored 105 points. ... We scored enough points to win a basketball game. We have to do a better job defensively." San Antonio improved to 7-1 at home in the playoffs, winning its past five games by an average of 20.6 points. The Spurs, however, remember what happened in the 2012 conference finals, when the Thunder won four straight to rally from an 0-2 deficit. "Theyre a talented team," Ginobili said. "Theyre going to watch video; theyre going to fix mistakes. Its going to be harder for sure. Its just one down." NOTES: Durant was assessed a technical foul 30 seconds into the fourth quarter after throwing his fists down in frustration after being assessed a foul. . Boris Diaw was poked in his lower right eyelid early in the game, but returned to shortly thereafter once it was determined there was no structural damage. . Play had to be stopped twice to clean up blood on Collison, who was battling Duncan and Splitter defensively. Danny Welbeck Jersey . Pikul Khueanpet scored early in the second half and Kanjana Sungngoen made it 2-0 in the 65th minute of the playoff. Tuyet Dong narrowed the margin with goal four minutes from time. The win gave Thailand fifth place at the Asian Cup and the last of the continents qualifying spots for the 2015 Womens World Cup in Canada. Sead Kolasinac Jersey . A top pitching prospect, one who the ball club is pinning some of its future hopes, takes the spot of a veteran who once was viewed as a future ace but who, to this point, hasnt realized his potential and may never. http://www.arsenalsoccerpro.com/Authentic-Mikel-Arteta-Arsenal-Jersey/ . The 28-year-old from Rochester, Alta., was selected by the Redblacks from the Saskatchewan Roughriders roster in the 2013 CFL Expansion Draft.BROOKLYN - If you subscribe to the concept of momentum, theres reason to be concerned about the Raptors chances going into Sundays series deciding Game 7. The shift began amid Wednesdays fourth-quarter meltdown, a 44-point browbeating, and carried over to Fridays Game 6. Facing elimination on their home court, a desperate Nets team jumped out to a 34-19 lead after 12 minutes and the Raptors - dazed and confused - never recovered, trailing for the duration. So how crucial is momentum at this time of year? "If you look at the series, the way its gone, its been like a roller coaster the whole time," Dwane Casey said following his teams 97-83 loss in Brooklyn, forcing a Game 7 on Sunday afternoon, tipping off at 1:00 PM from the Air Canada Centre. "Every game has been different." And that was the extent of Caseys post-game assembly. Questions about momentum, clearly favouring their surging opponents. Questions regarding experience, also favouring the veteran Nets. The Raptors were being written off before departing Brooklyn. "To listen to some of this, we may as well not play Game 7," said an agitated Casey. "Every game is different and I know our team will bounce back." For a brief, fleeting moment, Caseys team played the unfamiliar role of favourites, up 3-2 in the series, and it wasnt a good look for them. From the moment Rudy Gay was traded theyve fancied themselves underdogs. Its what brought them together, its what motivates them. Without that built-in adversity, they were unrecognizable. The Nets opened the game with the fight you would expect from a team on the ropes and for whatever reason, Toronto was unable to match it. The Raptors were flat offensively and showed little-to-no resistance on defence. Brooklyn outscored the Raptors 22-4 in the paint, out-rebounded them 14-4 and shot an impressive 68 per cent from the field. They moved the ball, got in the lane at will and controlled the tempo of the game from the jump, while the Raptors could barely get into their offensive sets. "It just comes down to who wants it more," DeMar DeRozan had said the day prior. On Friday it was all Brooklyn. "We didnt really realize we had Brooklyn against the wall and we didnt take advantage of it like we should," said DeRozan after leading the team with 28 points, no one else scored more than Kyle Lowrys 11. "We should have known they were going to come out throwing haymakers and we werent ready for it until the second half." "We just didnt come out with the competitive nature that we needed tonight," Lowry added. "They did an unbelievable job of forcing their will on the game tonight, but we have to find a way to match that intensity." In taking control of the series, Toronto had finally dodged the dreaded inexperience narrative that theyve been trying to shake since they drew the Nets but hhere it is, rearing its head once again. Arsenal Jerseys. This was a scenario Casey had considered, one he feared. "I was concerned about what would happen tonight," the Raptors coach admitted. "[In] any Game 6, a team is going to come out with a desperate mindset. With this team, they built to win a championship this year, and theyre going to come out and give you their best shot. [I] knew that coming in and tried to warn our team. Guys who havent been in Game 6 before, its one of the toughest things to do." "Again, experience is the best teacher. Now were going into Game 7, its our first time at that. Luckily we have it at home." Yes, they will play Sundays elimination game in the friendly confines of their home gym, in front of a fan base that has been exceptionally supportive throughout their playoff run. That may be the only tangible reason to like their odds. As a franchise, the Raptors have only participated in one Game 7, the infamous day of Vince Carters graduation and missed fadeaway back in 2001. They have never hosted a deciding playoff game at the Air Canada Centre. With Portlands win over Houston, the Raptors now have the NBAs longest active streak without a playoff series victory. None of Torontos starters have played in a Game 7 while Paul Pierce alone has appeared in eight, Kevin Garnett in six and Joe Johnson in four. And then theres the momentum, if you believe in such things. The Raptors say they dont buy into momentum. The Nets, however, are counting on it. "I think we just need to take this momentum from this game into the next," said Nets forward Andray Blatche, who guaranteed a victory on Wednesday and did the same for Game 7. "I think our momentum will carry over. I think we found a recipe in getting a win on defence and offence and controlling the paint." So here they are. After all this time - two weeks, six games, broken shot clocks, a lint-free global ambassador and an F-bomb dropping general manager - the division-winning Toronto Raptors are right back where they started. Theyre a young, inexperienced team in over their heads, right? Maybe. But if nothing else, theyre back in their comfort zone. Theyre going to be overlooked, theyre going to be the underdogs. So, count them out at your own risk. "We believe in ourselves," Patrick Patterson insisted. "Everyone in this locker room believes in ourselves. Weve believed in ourselves all year long. For us to have any doubt in our minds right now is unacceptable. Its not like we cant beat them. Weve beat them before. Weve done it in the regular season [and] weve done it in the playoffs." "Now we know its win or go home," DeRozan said. "Everything is on the line now. Either we step up and we play with a force from the jump ball to the end of the game, or well be going home the next day." Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '



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