The San Antonio Spurs were able to take a 2-1 series lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder primarily because of their improved perimeter shooting.
Following a poor performance in game 2 from beyond the arc, the Spurs snapped out of their funk by burying 3s at a much more efficient rate.
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In game 3, the Spurs went 10-19 from 3-point range, compared to their measly 6-23 effort in game 2.
During the regular season, the Spurs averaged about 19 attempts from deep, so this game wasn’t a case of them forcing the issue by firing up more shots from 3-point range than their offensive game plan calls for. They judiciously created open jumpers and capitalized on the opportunities.
During the regular season, the Spurs only made about 7 baskets from 3-point ranger per game, so they’ve never been overwhelmingly reliant on making 3s. They ranked 2nd in 3-point percentage, however, illustrating their skill at utilizing the 3-pointer without ever becoming too dependent on it.
In game 3, the Spurs lost both the offensive rebound battle as well as the points in the paint battle to the Thunder, so for a game where they were being beaten inside from an interior scoring standpoint, the fact that their 3-point shooting returned was an important development to earning this victory.
Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green combined to shoot 5-9 from deep, proving their prowess as two of the Spurs’ most dangerous threats from distance. Even Tony Parker got into the spirt of 3-point precision. Normally not known for having a range that extends out to the 3-point line, Parker hit 3-6 from downtown.
The Spurs will look to keep up this outside shooting efficiency for their game 4 matchup in Oklahoma City.