The most noticeable difference between the San Antonio Spurs that have steamrolled through teams to reach the 2012 NBA Western Conference Finals and the team that actually beat Oklahoma City on Sunday was the revival of Manu Ginobili, who finally found a hot hand in Game 1. Ginobili's 26 points and a 9-of-14 shooting from the field helped San Antonio pull away late, and added a new wrinkle for the Thunder to defend Tuesday night.
"He is a crafty lefthander," [James[ Harden said. "He gets to the rim. He made plays in the fourth quarter, and we have to do a better job of containing him and make him make passes. We have to control that and come back in Game 2 and be ready."
"That’s Manu’s game," coach Gregg Popovich said. "He’s a scorer. He’s somebody we depend on to create and make things happen. Whether it’s shooting, or driving, or assists somebody else with a pass. That’s what he has done for us his whole career, and it is very important to us. Without that, we have a tough time winning."
One man to watch on Tuesday? Harden, the Thunder's normally reliable sixth man, who lost the battle when matched up against Ginobili on Sunday and finished with four turnovers and only 17 points.