Thunder Fall In Season Opener At The Buzzer

Friday, November 2nd 2012, 12:42 am
By: News 9

The last time the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs faced off on the hardwood, it was in the midst of a thrilling, six-game series in the Western Conference finals.

The stakes may not have been quite the same Thursday night, and the play not as polished, but the excitement level was just about the same.

Tony Parker buried a 20-foot jump shot over Serge Ibaka as time expired to give the Spurs an 86-84 win over the Thunder in the Thunder's season-opener.

Parker finished with a double-double of 14 points and 13 assists, while a very fresh and rejuvenated Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 20 points.

Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 23 points, becoming the second-youngest player in NBA history to score 10,000 points in a career on a coast-to-coast layup with 6:43 remaining in the game. The youngest? LeBron James. Durant also grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.

Russell Westbrook had 18 points on just 6-for-21 shooting, while newcomer Kevin Martin scored 15 off the bench, including 3-for-6 shooting from three-point range.

The Thunder led 84-81 with the game winding down and the Spurs in possession. A loose ball resulted in some frantic passing, and Boris Diaw found a wide-open Parker in the corner who buried the three-pointer to tie the score at 84.

On the ensuing possession, Kawhi Leonard stripped Durant from behind and Duncan recovered the loose ball, giving the Spurs six seconds to set up Parker's heroics.

The Thunder got off to a hot start in the game, scoring the first eight points before San Antonio raced back with an 11-0 run of their own.

Martin, acquired by OKC from Houston in the James Harden trade, made his first appearance with 4:07 remaining in the first quarter, and scored seven points in the first half.

Duncan was the story of the first half for San Antonio, scoring 12 points, with five rebounds and three blocks. Duncan hit from pretty much everywhere on the court, and put Serge Ibaka on a poster late in the first half with a big dunk.

The two teams traded blows in the third quarter, the rust of the early season clearly evident for both teams, particularly the Thunder, who shot just 37.7 percent from the field for the game. Eric Maynor's three-quarter court heave at the end of the third quarter sent the game to the fourth tied at 66.

The Spurs went on an 11-0 run at the beginning of the fourth quarter, turning a 69-66 OKC lead into a 77-69 San Antonio lead. The Thunder battled back, tying the score at 80 on a Martin three-pointer.

The Thunder will return home to OKC Friday night for the home-opener against Portland.