Western Conference Finals Game Four : Spurs 92 – Thunder 105
After Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Miami Heat look like they might have their series in the bag. But after Game Four of the Western Conference Finals, things are all even as the Thunder covered the spread and pulled out a 13-point win to even the series at two games apiece.
The Spurs dominated the Thunder in the first two games, as Oklahoma City was noticeably down without Serge Ibaka at center. But once Ibaka returned for Game Three, the Thunder had new life in them and they have outplayed San Antonio over the last two games. While it was Ibaka who was the emotional hero in Game Three, Russell Westbrook was the key factor for the Thunder on Tuesday. Westbrook finished with 40 points and 10 assists, as well as five rebounds and a matching amount of steals.
Contributing to Westbrook was Kevin Durant, who had an underrated 31-point performance. On any other night, 31 points would be a huge accomplishment. But in Game Four, it was certainly overshadowed by the performance of Westbrook.
Ibaka, who is in just his second game back after what was thought to be a season ending injury, scored 9 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and had 3 blocks.
Westbrook’s 10 assists led to 23 points for the Thunder. Add that to his own point total of 40 and he accounted for 63 of the Thunder’s 105 points. Westbrook was also much more effective in picking the right spots to drive on Tuesday, going 5-5 when taking it to the hoop.
Tony Parker led the way for Spurs starters with 14 points, a mark that Boris Diaw matched coming off the bench. Cory Joseph had 11 and Kawhi Leonard had 10, but no other Spurs player was able to get into double digits. Noticeably, Tim Duncan had just 9 points and was -14 while on the court, and Manu Ginobili had only 5 points and was -10.
The Spurs looked nearly unbeatable in their series against the Trailblazers and they stormed out fast with two huge blowouts against the Thunder. However, it now looks like OKC has found a way to disrupt the flow of the Spurs, putting them in a position that eerily looks like 2012. It was that year that the Spurs were up 2-0, before the Thunder eventually came back in route to making their first appearance in the NBA Finals.
The Thunder’s win now makes it nine straight games that they’ve beaten the Spurs at home. That’s good news because, no matter what happens in San Antonio in Game Five on Thursday, these teams will be back in Chesapeake Energy Arena for Game Six on Saturday.
For a short time, the Spurs held the highest odds to win the NBA Championship. However, they have now moved behind the Heat (20/21) at 5/4. The Thunder now have 9/1 odds, which they’ll hope to improve with another huge win in Game Five. You can check back with sportspicks.com handicappers before tipoff, to see who’s expected to win this game and how it could affect the rest of the series.