“The ball went in the basket a lot,” said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich after a reporter asked him about LaMarcus Aldridge‘s remarkable scoring effort. As San Antonio quickly jumped out a 1-0 series lead with their win over Oklahoma City, 124-92, Aldridge had 38 points on 18/23 shooting to lead all scorers.
The Thunder, who never led in the game, got off to a very slow start and simply were unable to recover. In the first, OKC had horrific shooting issues and bucketed just eight field goals in 28 attempts en route to a 20-point quarter. San Antonio had no issues with their offense and pounded in 43 points on a staggering 18/22 (82%) shooting. Aldrige (15) and Kawhi Leonard (12) were way too much for OKC to handle and accounted for 27 combined points on 13/15 shooting. The Thunder’s dynamic duo didn’t fare as well, and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook shot a combined 3/14 for nine points.
Oklahoma City shot much more efficiently — 45.5% — in the second quarter but still only managed 20 points on 10/22 shooting. Westbrook and Durant still had their woes with shooting the ball and shot just 5/13 despite accounting for half of the Thunder’s offense. Aldridge was still hot, and his ten points helped the Spurs jump out to a 30-point second quarter. Leonard had another big quarter with eight, and Danny Green hit a couple outside shots for a total of seven points. Going into the half, San Antonio was up 73-40.
It would be much of the same in the third quarter before both of the teams emptied their benches for the fourth. Aldridge was still unable to be stopped and chipped in 13 more points as San Antonio outscored OKC 32-26 in the third. Durant attempted just one shot in the quarter and made it before exiting with five points; Westbrook wasn’t as lucky and shot 2/6 for six points. Serge Ibaka was the leader in the third and accounted for 11 points on 4/6 shooting, including 3/4 from downtown.
As mentioned above, Aldridge led all scorers with 38 points on 18/23 (78%) shooting and became the ninth player (since ’83-84) to have 38 points or more while shooting better than 75% from the field. Kawhi Leonard had 25 points, five rebounds, and five assists on 10/13 shooting, and Danny Green, whose shooting would have an impact in the series, was 5/6 from downtown with 18 points.
Serge Ibaka was Oklahoma City’s leading scorer with 19 on 8/15 shooting. Durant and Westbrook both had off nights and combined for 30 points on 11/34. Westbrook, however, did have nine assists and only two turnovers.
Game 2 is scheduled for Monday, May 2, at 9:30 PM EST in San Antonio.