San Antonio Spurs couldn't have asked for a more perfect start to their Western playoff final series after a tremendous victory against Oklahoma City Thunder saw Gregg Popovich's men win the game 122-105 at the AT&T Centre.
The four time NBA Champions took advantage of the missing Serge Ibaka for the Thunder as the centre was sorely missed for Scott Brooks, with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker scoring heavily in the players absence.
"We always want our ball movement, that's how we play. You know, obviously it's a little bit better with Ibaka not being in the paint, but we're still going to try to penetrate and make stuff happen."
The Thunder meanwhile will want to bounce back and make sure their team scores more points, as both Nick Collison and Thabo Solfolosha failed to register a single point in the 30 minutes they featured.
"We have to play better. We have to play better. If we expect to beat one of the best teams in basketball, and a very good offensive team, we have to play and we're not going to make an excuse."
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were again there to convert the points for Thunder; Durant hit 28 points while Westbrook score 25, but Derek Fisher was the only other Oklahoma City player to score over 15 points in this game.
The home side started the game seemingly looking for a high scoring win, taking the first quarter 30-27.
Duncan scored 12, converting six of his seven attempted field goals, while for the Thunder Durant tried to keep up, the MVP scoring ten points while featuring for the whole 12 minutes.
In the second the Spurs dominated again with the home side scoring 37 points to the Thunder's 32.
Duncan led the scoring again converting nine while Parker and Danny Green both scored eight in a controlling period of play.
It was a challenging time for Brook's Thunder as Derek Fisher scored eight with Reggie Jackson adding seven, but heading in at half-time the Spurs had a comfortable eight point lead at 67-59.
The third period saw a spirited fight back from the visitors and it was the two star men who led the way - Durant converting nine points while Westbrook scored 12.
For Popovich's men it was Manu Ginobili who took the high scoring baton with nine points, but despite his efforts the hosts' lead was cut down to seven points with one quarter remaining.
But the AT&T Centre was buzzing, and so were the players as the Spurs hammered home the points in the final quarter to see through the victory, taking the period 33-23.
Ginobili carried on his form from the third to convert nine points in four minutes of play, while Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green both added five to the board.
For the Thunder Durant could only muster three points in nine minutes of play while Caron Butler, Jackson, Westbrook all scored four.
This was a great win for the hosts heading into game two on Wednesday evening at the AT&T Centre, as another home win could really put Popovich's men in the driving seat.
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