Western Conference Finals Game Six: Spurs 112 – Thunder 107
Neither the Spurs nor the Thunder have been able to get a win on the others home-court this past season. However, that finally was put to an end when the Spurs pulled out a 112-107 win in overtime on Saturday. The result is more than just the first road win for the Spurs in Oklahoma City, but it also sends the Spurs to the NBA Finals to meet the Heat for the second straight year.
Despite the Thunder outscoring the Spurs in three of the first four quarters in Game Six, they had a monstrous third quarter, scoring 37 points to the Thunder’s 20. That was good enough for a 12-point lead heading into the final quarter. What might be even more impressive is that Tony Parker didn’t play in the second half, after he was feeling soreness in his ankle.
Boris Diaw led the way for the Spurs, putting in 26 points off the bench. Tim Duncan had 19 points and 15 rebounds, and Kawhi Leonard played one of his best games of the series, scoring 17 and grabbing 11 boards.
It should come as no surprise the input that the Thunder got from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The leagues MVP had 31 points and 14 rebounds, while Westbrook had a team-high 34 points. Westbrook was also 17-18 from the free throw line. Reggie Jackson had 21 points and Serge Ibaka contributed with 16.
In overtime, both teams went to their most trusted players with under a minute left. After Duncan hit a baseline jumper to give the Spurs a 110-107 lead with 19 seconds left, Durant had an open look on a 3-point shot. Durant’s shot missed the mark and the Spurs would get the rebound, after which Diaw would sink two free throws to put things out of reach.
Boris Diaw’s 26 points off the bench are the second most in the NBA in the last 15 years in a potential series-clinching game.
The two biggest stats that stand out are the 19 turnovers that the Thunder committed, to just 14 for the Spurs. The Spurs also grabbed 16 offensive rebounds, to the Thunders 7.
The Spurs were just a few seconds away from winning the NBA Championship last year. After LeBron James missed a jump shot for the Heat, Danny Green shot down the court in hopes of getting an open layup. Instead, the ball bounced back to James and he would sink a jumper to extend the series. The Heat would eventually win the series, and the Spurs haven’t forgotten the taste of bitter defeat.
The Heat and Spurs split their season series with one game apiece. Both teams won on their home-court and the Spurs will have that advantage as the series starts in San Antonio on Thursday. You can check back with sportspicks.com handicappers to get more insight into the NBA Finals series rematch before Game One and throughout the series.
With just two teams left, the Heat are favored to win the NBA Championship at 20/23, while the Spurs are at 5/4 odds.