Gregg Popovich wanted some ”nasty.” The San Antonio Spurs obliged, and they’ve now tied NBA history.
Not to mention left the Oklahoma City Thunder agonizing about what could have been.
Manu Ginobili scored a playoff-high 26 points and the Spurs won their 19th in a row to tie the NBA record for longest winning streak kept alive in the playoffs, beating the Thunder 101-98 in the Western Conference finals opener on Sunday night.
Obeying orders snarled by their coach in a fourth-quarter timeout to play ”nasty,” the Spurs erased a nine-point deficit that stunned the Thunder, who had looked on their way to finally kicking the perception that they’re the underdog.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 27 points. Russell Westbrook had 17.
”I talked to them about they’ve got to get a little bit uglier, get a little more nasty, play with more fiber and take it to these guys,” Popovich said. ”Meaning you have to drive it, you have to shoot it.”
And when they started doing just that, the Thunder couldn’t keep up.
– Reported by the Associated Press