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SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs were not going to belie

SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs were not going to believe Serge Ibaka was really injured until the Oklahoma City Thunder took the court in the opener of the Western Conference finals without their athletic big man. Matt Duffy Jersey . Their skepticism was unwarranted. Ibaka is indeed injured and Oklahoma City needs to find a way to replace his defensive presence against San Antonio. Tim Duncan had 27 points and the Spurs took advantage of Ibakas absence to score more than half their points in the paint, beating the Thunder 122-105 Monday night in the opener of the best-of-seven series. Tony Parker did not appear limited by a hamstring injury, adding 14 points and 12 assists in 36 minutes in San Antonios first victory over Oklahoma City this season. Parker and coach Gregg Popovich both said earlier they werent sure if the Thunder would actually be without Ibaka, who injured his left calf in Oklahoma Citys series clincher against the Los Angeles Clippers. "Contrary to what San Antonio was thinking, hes not coming back," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. Thats bad news for Oklahoma City entering Game 2 on Wednesday. San Antonio had 66 points in the paint and shot 58 per cent from the field. It was the highest shooting percentage allowed by the Thunder in the post-season since relocating from Seattle. The Thunder got their usual offensive output from All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who scored 28 and 25 points, respectively. But Oklahoma Citys remaining starters, Nick Collison, Thabo Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins, combined to score five points with 13 rebounds and one assist. Collison started in place of Ibaka and was 0 for 3 from the field with three rebounds and one blocked shot. Ibaka was averaging 12.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.23 blocks in 33.9 minutes in the post-season. "We play team defence, we don't just rely on Serge," Durant said. "He does a great job of blocking shots, but its all because of our team defence. Hes a big part of what we do. Hes a starter, had his best season this year, so of course were going to miss his presence, but we have guys that are going to step up and do it collectively." San Antonio planned to attack Oklahoma Citys interior whether Ibaka was playing or not, and found it much easier to do without the athletic 6-foot-10 forward. "We always want to try to penetrate," Parker said. "We always want our ball movement, thats how we play -- kick and pitch and stuff like that. You know, obviously its a little bit better with (Ibaka) not being in the paint, but were still going to try to penetrate and make stuff happen." The Spurs fed Duncan early and the veteran responded by scoring 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the opening quarter. Parker, who sustained a Grade 1 left hamstring strain in San Antonios series clincher against Portland, drove the paint and dished to Duncan early before looking for his own shot midway through the quarter. "Thats part of our game plan," Duncan said. "He knew that they werent going to let him shoot the ball like he did in the last series. They were going to try to take that away from him, so he knew he was going to have to be an assist man." Parker scored all but two of his points in the first half. Manu Ginobili took over in the second half, scoring all 18 of his points with a series of breakneck drives and 3-for-4 shooting on 3-pointers. "Just got to do a better job of closing the paint off," Westbrook said. "I thought we did a better job in the second half of just putting more pressure on them, making it tough for them to get inside the paint." After starting Collison and bringing in 7-foot post Steven Adams to spell him and Perkins, Oklahoma City continually altered its lineup in an attempt to derail San Antonios attack. At one point the Thunder had Westbrook and fellow point guards Reggie Jackson and Derek Fisher on the court with Durant playing the post defensively. Duncan responded by dropping in a running hook on Durant. "Were going to have to find lineups that work," Brooks said. "I have faith in all of our guys to step in and do the job, no matter who we put on the floor." With the exception of a pair of free throws by Fisher, Westbrook and Durant scored all of Oklahoma Citys points in a 23-22 third quarter. The Thunder rallied to take a 76-75 lead on Westbrooks 17-foot jumper with 5 minutes left in the third quarter for their first lead since the opening basket of the game. "I think we need more from everybody defensively," Brooks said. "We scored 105 points. ... We scored enough points to win a basketball game. We have to do a better job defensively." San Antonio improved to 7-1 at home in the playoffs, winning its past five games by an average of 20.6 points. The Spurs, however, remember what happened in the 2012 conference finals, when the Thunder won four straight to rally from an 0-2 deficit. "Theyre a talented team," Ginobili said. "Theyre going to watch video; theyre going to fix mistakes. Its going to be harder for sure. Its just one down." NOTES: Durant was assessed a technical foul 30 seconds into the fourth quarter after throwing his fists down in frustration after being assessed a foul. . Boris Diaw was poked in his lower right eyelid early in the game, but returned to shortly thereafter once it was determined there was no structural damage. . Play had to be stopped twice to clean up blood on Collison, who was battling Duncan and Splitter defensively. Drew Smyly Jersey . The Yankees made the moves before Tuesdays game against Baltimore. Robertson was listed retroactive to Monday. Robertson posted two saves in three games as the replacement for retired Yankees closer Mariano Rivera before getting hurt. Custom Tampa Bay Rays Jerseys . Louis, MO (SportsNetwork. http://www.theraysfansshop.com/Joe-Maddon-Jersey/ .ca presents a week long look at some of the teams and stories that will shape the up coming campaign.BARCELONA, Spain -- Sevilla forward Kevin Gameiro scored a brace to help rout Espanyol 4-1 and keep his team in the hunt for a Champions League berth on Sunday, while Malaga and Elche both won to move away from the Spanish leagues relegation zone. Sevilla dominated the first half at its Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium with midfielder Stephane Mbia thumping a corner kick past German Parreno on the goalkeepers league debut for the 18th-minute opener. Gameiro made it 2-0 moments before halftime when Espanyol left him unmarked to control a pass with his chest before sweeping the ball home. Espanyol pulled one back seconds after the restart when Sergio Garcia converted a penalty following Federico Fazios foul on Christian Stuani. But Gameiro worked a one-two passing combination with Marko Marin before scoring in the 84th, and Ivan Rakitic capped the victory with two minutes to play. Sevilla rose to within three points of fourth-placed Athletic Bilbao before it visits Levante on Monday. "This is the best part of the season, the most exciting," said Sevilla coach Unai Emery. "But we are not going to think about whats to come. Im concerned with my team continuing to constantly improve, more than thinking about our objectives. We are in fifth place and I want to hold onto it." Sevilla next hosts FC Porto on Thursday needing to overturn a 1-0 loss to advance in the Europa League. Malaga midfielder Ignacio Camacho scored two goals and earned a penalty for a third to lead his teams 4-1 win over Granada. And a last-gasp goal by striker Yiadom Boakye gave Elche a dramatic 1-0 win over Getafe in a big boostt for the small clubs campaign to remain in the first division for a second straight season. Wade Boggs Jersey. Malagas first win in five consecutive home games moved Bernd Schusters side to 11th place. Camacho headed Malaga ahead in the 14th from a set piece, and he followed with another headed goal from a corner kick in the 37th. Youssef El Arabi had an opportunity to halve the difference for Granada just before halftime but goalkeeper Willy Caballero saved his penalty kick. Camacho was then fouled by Jeison Murillo, allowing Nordin Amrabat to convert the spot kick in the 50th. Juan Jimenez netted a fourth for Malaga in the 74th before El Arabi got Granadas consolation goal four minutes later. "We knew what was on the line, three important points against a direct (relegation) rival," said Camacho. "We are happy but it isnt over. We have to make sure we stay up as soon as possible." Boakye jumped above his marker to head in Carles Gils cross three minutes into stoppage time to grab the winner in the dying moments at Elche. The victory lifted Elche four points from danger. Valencia failed to rebound from its humiliating 3-0 loss at Swiss side Basel on Thursday in the Europa League as it was held to a 0-0 draw at Valladolid. The point let Valladolid emerge from the drop zone and send Getafe down into the bottom three along with Almeria and Real Betis. With six rounds to go, there are six teams within five points of the drop. Atletico Madrid leads the league by one point over Barcelona, with Real Madrid another two points behind after all three title rivals won on Saturday. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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