The Oklahoma City Thunder finally managed to secure a win over the San Antonio Spurs in their Western Conference Finals matchup. The Thunder took Game 3 by a decent margin and did so by drastically switching up their game plan to target the Spurs' style of play.
As Tom Spousta of the New York Times points out, one of the keys to the Thunder victory was the matchup between Thabo Sefolosha and Tony Parker. Sefolosha aggressively defended Parker all night and kept the All-Star off-balance. If Sefolosha can keep Parker locked down again in Game 4, Oklahoma City just might be able to even up this series.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich commented on the matchup between Sefolosha and Parker after Game 3:
Q. Coach, there will probably be some talk that Thabo Sefolosha doing well against Parker might become a factor in the series. I just wondered if you would make any changes or if it's just let's go play Game 4?
COACH POPOVICH: I don't know what kind of change as far as Sefolosha's concerned. I don't know. I can ask Scotty not to play him. I don't know how I can change what Sefolosha's going to do. He did a good job. Tony did a good job.
But it's not about Tony, it's about our team. We played much more poorly tonight than we have, and I thought they played fantastic basketball in every way.
The Thunder will definitely need to continue playing "fantastic basketball" if they want to keep their hopes of reaching the NBA Finals alive.
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