They come at opponents in waves, future Hall of Famers and adept role players comprising the NBA's deepest roster.
Guard Tony Parker, one of the stars, scored 22 points Wednesday. Guard Danny Green, part of the supporting cast, made seven 3-point baskets and scored 21. Thanks in part to the duo's contributions, the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-77 Wednesday night to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.
San Antonio earned its seventh win in eight games. In this one, the Spurs outshot the Thunder 50 percent to 39.3 percent from the field and had a 21-5 edge in free throws made.
Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant and guard Russell Westbrook were limited to 15 point apiece, converting just 13 of 40 shots between them. Their 30 points together were 26.6 fewer than they were averaging during the playoffs.
"Whenever great players have nights like that, it's never one thing," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "I'm sure at times we guarded them well, and I'm sure at times they had open shots that they didn't make."
The Spurs, leading by 14 at halftime, outscored the Thunder 33-18 in the third quarter. San Antonio converted 12 of 16 shots in the process.
"I don't think anybody on our team played well, including myself," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.
Oklahoma City is playing without injured shot-blocking forward Serge Ibaka, who has a strained calf and will miss the rest of the playoffs, according to Brooks.
The Spurs took advantage by scoring 54 points in the paint. They pummeled the Thunder with Green's 3-point baskets. He needed only 10 attempts to make his seven 3-pointers.
Green also spent more time guarding Durant than he normally would because Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard was in foul trouble during the first half, playing just nine minutes.
Parker and Green had sufficient help even without much of a presence from Leonard. Forward Tim Duncan contributed 14 points and 12 rebounds. Center Tiago Splitter grabbed 10 rebounds, scored nine points and blocked three shots.
San Antonio made an 11-2 push during the final 2:18 of the first half to take a 58-44 lead.
The Spurs made three 3-point baskets during the run, two by Green, the other by guard Manu Ginobili.
Green hit four 3-pointers in the half. On one, Ginobili made one of those passes that only he seems to make, flinging the ball from the left corner across the baseline to the right corner.
Ginobili's 3-pointer came from 27 feet after he secured an offensive rebound.
Oklahoma City contributed to San Antonio's strong first-half finish by committing three turnovers during the final 1:31.
Parker produced 14 points and five assists in the half. Durant and Westbrook scored 11 each before the break, but they combined to make just nine of 26 shots.
"We had a really good quarter going, actually a good half," Brooks said. "Then they hit three 3s, we turned it over three times and we took a couple of tough shots. We didn't do a good job of responding after that run."
San Antonio won Game 1 by 17 points. Now this. Durant, after two blowout defeats, said, "It's hard to stay together. We have to figure it out."
The series moves to Oklahoma City for Game 3 on Sunday and Game 4 on Tuesday. Parker suggested that the Spurs have not accomplished much yet, recalling that they went to Oklahoma City with a 2-0 lead in the 2012 Western Conference finals and lost four straight, including one in San Antonio.