The San Antonio Spurs had a pretty impressive winning streak heading into Thursday night's Game 3 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. That streak was snapped, and now Spurs' supporters are trying to figure out just went wrong to ruin their undefeated record so deep into the NBA Playoffs.
The prevailing answer, it seems, is that the Thunder came out hungry while the Spurs were flat and never recovered. That isn't all that surprising considering Oklahoma City had the home crowd behind them, but Pounding the Rock's Fred Silva wrote about the San Antonio loss in excruciating detail.
Gregg Popovich called a timeout with 9:11 remaining in the first quarter. Two minutes and forty-nine seconds into Game 3, the Spurs were 0-3 from the field and had committed 4 turnovers. The Thunder were up 8-0 while committing zero turnovers. That was the game. One team showed up and the other did not. It was over within three minutes and we all knew it.
However, none of us wanted to wave the white flag that early in the game. And so we watched. It was painful, but we held onto the hope that the Spurs would win. Who can blame us? We've become accustomed to the type of magic that can make a bad half disappear.
Unfortunately, the bad half turned into a bad third quarter. It wasn't awful; it was simply insurmountable. On the road, a team must play significantly better to withstand the officiating. Instead, the Spurs succumbed to it. It was depressingly difficult to watch.
"Depressingly difficult" was a phrase many believed would describe the Thunder's chances to win the Western Conference finals following the first two games of the series. Heading into the weekend, though -- and another home game for the Thunder -- the momentum seems to be firmly on the side of the Thunder.
For more on the Spurs, be sure to visit Pounding the Rock; for the Thunder, Welcome to Loud City. And for news, analysis and everything else revolving around the NBA Playoffs, be sure to visit SB Nation's NBA page.