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2012 NBA Playoffs
San Antonio, TX
Tony Parker exploded with a playoff-high 34 points on 16 of 21 shooting from the floor, helping the San Antonio Spurs stay perfect in the playoffs with a 120-111 trouncing of the Oklahoma City Thunder Tuesday night at AT&T Center.
It was the 20th straight victory for San Antonio, which took a commanding 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference finals.
Parker, who scored 18 in the opener of the set Sunday, set the flow of for the Spurs, while giving a clinic to fellow All-Star guard Russell Westbrook on the one-on-one as a result of the San Antonio's high picks for Parker.
On Tuesday, the four-time All-Star Parker earned 15 of points as a pick-and-roll ball handler on 7 of 9 shooting.
Parker nailed his lone 3-pointer on the night with 5:15 left in the third quarter, giving the Spurs a 20-point lead.
Manu Ginobili added 20 points, Kawhi Leonard had 18 points and 10 boards, while Tim Duncan logged 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs, who dominated the first three quarters before fending off a late Thunder surge in the fourth.
The Spurs, who rallied with a huge fourth quarter (39 points) en route to a 101-98 win in Game 1, shot a whopping 58 percent (22-of-38) in the first half Tuesday.
Kevin Durant finished with 31 points as he tried to keep the Thunder in the contest. James Harden added 30, including 12 points in the fourth quarter, where Oklahoma City outscored the Spurs, 35-28.
Westbrook, who was badly outplayed by his counterpart, Parker, ended with 27 markers.
The Spurs, who entered Tuesday tied with the 2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers team with 19 straight victories, now own the longest winning streak extended into the playoffs in the NBA history.
The 2008 Houston Rockets won 22 straight between Jan. 29 and March 18, 2008, all in the regular season.
Gregg Popovich and Tony Parker talk after the game
Hear from the Thunder after dropping Game 2 to the Spurs
Spurs top Thunder, protect home-court in 'nasty' way
Despite facing adversity for the first time this postseason, the San Antonio Spurs stuck on their 'old" playbook and went on to protect home court against the Oklahoma City Thunder in a 'nasty' but masterful fashion.
In a blink of an eye, the Spurs have built a 2-0 advantage in their Western Conference showdown with the young and explosive Thunder and increasingly become more dangerous as the series shifts to an hostile environment for Games 3 and 4.
The Spurs proved from time-to-time again they can win ballgame under different situations such as erasing a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 101-98 Game 1 victory or preserving a lead in Tuesday's 120-111 Game 2 blowout.
The 36-year-old Tim Duncan is still the heart and soul of the Spurs defense while Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker continue to ignite their offense, which has become more potent in the past two seasons.
The Spurs are averaging 110.5 points and shooting an astounding .504 percent from the field - a considerably high field goal percentage in a conference finals series.
Moreover, the stellar play of their role players like Boris Diaw, Gary Neal, Tiago Splitter, Danny Green, and Stephen Jackson have given the Spurs a significant advantage over Oklahoma's inconsistent bench.
Reigning Coach of the Year Gregg Popovich remains the master of in-game adjustments, orchestrating seamless offensive plays and devising a perfect game-plan to make scoring machines like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook gasping for air down the stretch.
Durant is averaging 29 points per game in the Conference finals, but the three-time scoring champion has been struggling finding his shots in the fourth quarter. Westbrook and James Harden are also in a limbo these past two games, taking wayward shot after another.
In the first two games of the Western Conference finals, the Spurs took the Thunder to school in almost every possession and showed old-fashioned basketball still wins championship.
Coincidentally, the Spurs are aiming for perfection as they attempt to become the first time in NBA history to sweep their first three series since the best-of-seven format was implemented in the first-round of the playoffs in 2004 - the year the franchise won its second championship.
However, Duncan and company know they are headed in a grind-house at Chesapeake Energy Arena and only getting nastier is the way to steal the thunder from Oklahoma.
Spurs Hold Off Thunder for Commanding 2-0 series Lead