The San Antonio Spurs opened the Western Conference Finals with a pair of blowout wins in Texas. With the “Serge Effect”, the Oklahoma Thunder responded with equally convincing wins at home to tie the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.
Courtesy of another explosion from Russell Westbrook, who finished with 40 points, 10 assists and 5 steals and Kevin Durant, who had 31 points and 3 steals, OKC completely turned the tables on their Western rivals.
After averaging just 91.0 points per game in the first two, they dropped 106 and 105 in the last two games. Defensively, with big man Serge Ibaka in the middle, they contained the Spurs to just 94.5 PPG—a vast improvement from giving up 117.0 in San Antonio.
West Finals Game-by-Game Recap and Upcoming Schedule Game 1: Thunder 105, Spurs 122 Game 2: Thunder 77, Spurs 112 Game 3: Spurs 97, Thunder 106 Game 4: Spurs 92, Thunder 105 Game 5: Thunder @ Spurs (Friday morning Australia) Game 6: Spurs @ Thunder (Sunday morning Australia) Game 7: Thunder @ Spurs (Tuesday morning Australia) – if necessary
Ibaka had 9 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocked shots in this win and more importantly, played 35 minutes which means that the calf injury is a thing of the past.
For Tim Duncan (9 points, 3-of-8 FG), Tony Parker (14 points and 3 turnovers) and Gregg Popovich, a 2-2 series versus OKC brings bad memories of the 2012 Playoffs when the Thunder came back from 0-2 down to win the conference finals that year.
Similar to Game 3, San Antonio could find any offensive rhythm shooting just 39.8 per cent from the field (33-of-83 FG) and from behind the arc (9-of-27 FG). OKC’s defense was so disruptive in this one they had 12 steals on the Spurs’ 13 turnovers.
Game 5 is Friday morning (Australia) when the series shifts back to San Antonio.