Without starting forward Serge Ibaka, Okahoma City took its lumps in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.
San Antonio never took its foot off the gas as the Thunder scrambled to find effective lineup combinations. The result was a 122-105 victory that sent the Thunder coaching staff back to the film room to reevaluate.
Coach Scott Brooks had a tough task of finding a consistent group to face one of the NBA's most dangerous offenses. For most of the game, OKC elected to use a smaller lineup and attempt to outrun the Spurs, something it has done well in prior meetings. But San Antonio took advantage of the Thunder's lack of shot blocking, finishing possession after possession with easy layups.
Here's a look at each of the 10 lineup combinations that Brooks employed in Game 1, including the time on the court together and each unit's +/- for the game.
Westbrook, Sefolosha, Durant, Collison, Perkins
Time on court: 15:33
Score differential: 26-32 (-6)
The Thunder's starting unit played a little more than a quarter's worth of ball Monday night, and didn't do too poorly. The had a rough start to the game, but made up for it with a strong start to the third quarter. This was the ONLY Thunder lineup all game to utilize two big men at once.
Westbrook, Jackson, Butler, Durant, Perkins
Time on court: 1:23
Score differential: 4-2 (+2)
The first of many lineups in which Durant occupied the 4 spot. Wasn't out there long, but held its own.
Westbrook, Jackson, Butler, Durant, Adams
Time on court: 3:37
Score differential: 8-9 (-1)
With two guards along with Durant and Adams, this was one of OKC's most athletic lineups of the night. It was also their fourth-most utilized, and it worked fairly well, only being outscored by a point.
Jackson, Fisher, Butler, Durant, Adams
Time on court: 6:23
Score differential: 15-18 (-3)
This was one of three Thunder lineups to earn more than six minutes of court time, partially because of Fisher's hot hand. But another lineup where Durant was forced in to the 4 spot.
Jackson, Fisher, Lamb, Butler, Adams
Time on court: 3:00
Score differential: 7-12 (-5)
This was one of OKC's least-effective lineups of the night, and it's easy to see why. Jackson, Fisher and Lamb on the perimeter makes it hard to get a lot of stops, especially when Adams is the only big guy on the court.
Westbrook, Jackson, Fisher, Butler, Adams
Time on court: 1:59
Score differential: 6-5 (+1)
One of only three lineups all night that outscored its opponent.
Westbrook, Jackson, Fisher, Butler, Durant
Time on court: 7:06
Score differential: 16-17 (-1)
This was the Thunder's smallest lineup of the night, yet it was the second-most used. It was actually fairly effective, forcing San Antonio to use Boris Diaw at the 5 and swarm to match up with a lightning-quick Thunder unit. Unfortunately, this combo appeared to wear out Durant faster than any other because of the added rebounding and post-defense demands.
Westbrook, Fisher, Butler, Durant, Perkins
Time on court: 1:58
Score differential: 3-9 (-6)
To have a -6 in just 1:58 of court time is a killer. This is the unit that allowed a seven-point deficit to balloon to 14 late in the second quarter.
Westbrook, Jackson, Lamb, Durant, Perkins
Time on court: 1:58
Score differential: 8-2 (+6)
Brooks swapped out Fisher and Butler for Lamb and Jackson late in the second, and in a little less than two minutes, this unit got the Thunder back within eight at halftime.
Westbrook, Fisher, Jackson, Durant, Perkins
Time on court: 2:50
Score differential: 4-12 (-8)
Brooks sent these guys out there with a little more than five minutes to play in the fourth, and it got ugly, quickly. A fatigued Westbrook and Durant could do nothing as the Spurs rained in shots from everywhere.
*We're not counting the 2:13 of mop-up time at the end of the fourth quarter.
• The Westbrook & Jackson backcourt appeared for 18:53, and recorded a -1.
• Durant spent 16:11 at the power forward spot. The Thunder was a -16. This might be something to shy away from in Game 2.
• Despite shooting 4-6 from deep, 4-4 from the line and recording a season-high with 16 points, Derek Fisher was a team-worst -18.
• Jeremy Lamb recorded a team-high +5 in his seven minutes.
• OKC used Caron Butler at the power forward spot for 12:05, with the result being a -5.
• The Thunder used two true post players on the court together for just 15:33 of the 48 possible minutes.
• Nick Collison & Steven Adams never saw the court together.
• Kendrick Perkins & Steven Adams never saw the court together.
Game 2 is Wednesday.