Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Kevin Durant, left, celebrates with teammate James Harden in Oklahoma City's 109-103 series-evening win.
Kevin Durant, left, celebrates with teammate James Harden in Oklahoma City's 109-103 series-evening win.

Home security helps Thunder even their NBA series with Spurs

The Oklahoma City Thunder had the benefit of their partisan home crowd to help them even their series against the Spurs, but now the Western Conference finals return to San Antonio.

History is not on the side of the Oklahoma City Thunder. But Kevin Durant is, and that may make all the difference going into Monday night's Game 5 at San Antonio.

Only 14 teams in NBA history have come back to win a seven-game play-off series after losing the first two games.

Oklahoma City are in good position to become the 15th after Durant powered them to a 109-103 victory over the Spurs on Saturday night, evening up the series at two games each.

"They did what they had to do. They protected their home court here," said Tim Duncan, who led San Antonio with 21 points. "We're going to try to go home and do exactly the same."

Durant scored 36 points and Serge Ibaka added a career-high 26 points to lead the Thunder.

After seeing his team's 15-point lead dwindle to four, Durant took over midway through the fourth quarter by scoring all 16 of the Thunder's points during a span of just over five minutes to keep the Spurs at bay.

"We tried to do a couple of different things but his play was better than anything we did defensively, that's for sure," said Gregg Popovich, the Spurs coach. "He finished it off in fine fashion."

With All-Star teammate Russell Westbrook limited to seven points, Durant did almost all of the damage late in the game.

Durant, who finished behind LeBron James in MVP voting, hit three straight jumpers, the last one coming after he bumped into Tony Parker in the lane to draw a foul and set up a three-point play.

Then he attacked the rim for his next three baskets, getting to the line again when he was fouled on a layup off of James Harden's alley-oop.

"He just got going. Once a player of that much talent starts scoring, it's hard to stop them," said Stephen Jackson, who was repeatedly bumped off by screens while trying to stick with Durant during his hot stretch.

"He got into a nice rhythm. I was able to stop him one time, but they got the lob and the and-one [off the foul]. He was just rolling. It was kind of too late to stop him."

Durant hit two free throws in the final minute to help close it out.

"I didn't tell myself that I need to go score because what we were doing was working," Durant said.

"We were passing the ball and guys were making shots ... I just wanted to stick with what we were doing, but it started to open up for me, and I could see some lanes that gave me some opportunities to make some shots."

The Spurs were within four after Duncan's left-handed runner with 6:55 left in the game. That is when Scott Brooks, the Thunder coach, called a timeout, and Durant came out of it firing away. He made seven of his last eight shots and also finished with eight assists and six rebounds.

"It was hard because were on a run, we were feeling good about ourselves and we just couldn't make a stop," Ginobili said.

sports@thenational.ae

 

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

"He just got going. Once a player of that much talent starts scoring, it's hard to stop them," said Stephen Jackson, who was repeatedly bumped off by screens while trying to stick with Durant during his hot stretch.

"He got into a nice rhythm. I was able to stop him one time, but they got the lob and the and-one [off the foul]. He was just rolling. It was kind of too late to stop him."

Durant hit two free throws in the final minute to help close it out.

"I didn't tell myself that I need to go score because what we were doing was working," Durant said.

"We were passing the ball and guys were making shots ... I just wanted to stick with what we were doing, but it started to open up for me, and I could see some lanes that gave me some opportunities to make some shots."

The Spurs were within four after Duncan's left-handed runner with 6:55 left in the game. That is when Scott Brooks, the Thunder coach, called a timeout, and Durant came out of it firing away. He made seven of his last eight shots and also finished with eight assists and six rebounds.

"It was hard because were on a run, we were feeling good about ourselves and we just couldn't make a stop," Ginobili said.

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Chris Burch will play fly-half as part of a new-look back line for the UAE national rugby union team that will face Singapore at The Sevens grounds in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National

Chris Burch to lead UAE’s charge against Singapore

he UAE’s bid to safeguard their place in the second tier of Asian rugby against Singapore next week will be piloted by a player who was contemplating retirement from the sport at this time last year.

 Seiichi Shimomura, centre, is part of a Japan squad that is the gold standard for sides such as the UAE, here in a Asian Five Nations rugby match at Dubai on May 10, 2013 and Singapore aspire to reach. Marwan Naamani / AFP

UAE and Singapore are rugby teams with a similar tale to tell

The UAE versus Singapore in rugby: a battle to see whether our expatriates are better than their expatriates, surely? Well, maybe not for much longer.

 Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr is pictured before the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on March 1, 2014. Glyn Kirk / AFP

New Southampton owner leading club’s resurgence from the shadows

Katharina Liebherr keeping with family tradition and letting others dominate the spotlight

 Sharjah Cricket Stadium's colorful past was never like this – the IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils was loud, raucous and commerical. Pawan Singh / The National

No need for rose-coloured glasses when Sharjah Cricket Stadium host IPL

Sharjah still plays well as India's home away from home when it comes to big-time cricket, but the commercial overtones were in overdrive.

 Jorginho accepts the challenge that lies ahead for Al Wasl's improvement, and the club says it will give him time ... if they see results.  Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Wasl will give Jorginho time but results in Arabian Gulf League are needed

Al Wasl officials said they will provide Jorginho, their new coach, sufficient time to change the club’s fortunes while also warning that his fate ultimately will depend on results.

 Mickael Barzalona riding Sudden Wonder, left, to victory in the Tattersalls Millions Trophy at Newmarket racecourse on April 17, 2014 in Newmarket, England. Alan Crowhurst/ Getty Images

Godolphin boosted by performances of two fresh horses at Newmarket

Be Ready underwhelms in Craven Stakes during otherwise successful day for stables

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National