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Published: Fri, May 27, 2016
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

San Antonio Spurs: Are Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili done?


This was an unexpected scene. The Spurs, facing elimination, had vowed to come out angry.

This should still be an epic battle between two teams that are hungry for a spot in the NBA Finals - two teams that are very capable of winning it all.

The Thunder - back in the conference final for the first time since losing to the Spurs in 2013-14 - were in control throughout, limiting San Antonio to just 31 points at half-time.

Oklahoma City opened up a 47-29 lead late in the second quarter after a 3-pointer by Westbrook that brought a roar from the crowd.

As for the team's bench, which was at the top of the league during the regular season, but had an unexpected disappearing act during the playoffs, Popovich said he's going to have to reevaluate things. Both have player options for next season and could choose to retire, but San Antonio will have to look toward assembling another version of "The Big Three" soon, regardless of what Duncan and Ginobli decide to do. The Thunder's reliance on Westbrook and Durant works well for most of the game, but in the closing couple minutes, they get predictable and easy to defend.

The Warriors play the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Monday.

So the Thunder, the winners of 55 games and the No. 3 seed in the conference, were seen as the underdogs.

With a large contingency of Spurs fans cheering them as they got home, Spurs rookie center Boban Marjanovic chose to thank the fans in only a way that he could.

Despite their close relationship, Popovich said he doesn't expect Duncan or Ginobili to seek his counsel before making their decision. We have learned from this series that stars are the reason you win championships.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich expressed surprise when asked whether Duncan had played his last game.

"We're not done yet".

It's also the same venue Golden State defeated the Thunder twice this season, and it required 46 points and a 32-foot three-pointer in overtime by Curry to defeat Oklahoma City on the road.

"Golden State's a great team", Donovan said. "It will be a great challenge".

“You go from missing three weeks, two and a half weeks to playing significant minutes in 48 hours, especially with what the day in between was like, it kind of shocks your body so you've got to take advantage of these three days we have off to get refreshed and rejuvenated mentally and physically and get ready to play.”.

On Thursday, Durant was spectacular, scoring 37 points.

In transition against the Warriors, Westbrook scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting in the three games.

For the Spurs, the defeat may mark the end of an era. "Everybody loses but one". The Spurs were two games away from moving on to the next round but lost steam.

With Duncan, 40, having just completed his 19th season with the Spurs, only Kobe Bryant (20 seasons) has played more seasons with a single franchise. It was his inability to keep Enes Kanter and Steven Adams from rebounding the ball, his inability to score on even the easiest of looks. They played like they didn't want to stop.

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