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Thunder-Spurs Game 1: Nothing easy but the feeling of a win for Spurs

By Matt Moore | NBA writer
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich could be in for a tough series.(Getty Images)
With his team down nine against the Oklahoma City in the fourth, TNT caught a fantastic moment from San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. In one of those "Mic'd up" segments, Popovich calmly and directed told his team a simple statement that speaks to the experience and attitude of the Spurs.

"It's not supposed to be easy."

The Spurs had rolled their way through the regular season, rolled their way through the first round, rolled their way through the second round series. They hadn't faced a team worthy of them in nearly two months.

They ran into a good team in Game 1 and the Thunder took it to them for three quarters. Then Popovich explained to his team. It's not supposed to be easy. He implored them to "get nasty."

It's that perspective that set them up for the comeback effort, as the Spurs outscored Oklahoma City 30-11 in a long stretch of the fourth. That's the kind of approach that has paced the Spurs. They don't play with fiery emotion. They thrive off of challenges, off of rising to the moment, off of trusting their system and their teammates.

No drama. No egos. No excuses.

And they're up 1-0. On a night when San Antonio didn't get great performances from Tony Parker or Tim Duncan, the Spurs not only found a way to win, not only found a way to comeback from down nine against a team that is younger and faster, but won comfortably down the stretch leading by double-digits before some desperation shots.

This is San Antonio's model. It's not supposed to be easy. But it's supposed to be done right.

San Antonio Spurs lead the series, 1-0.
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