After losing two of their last three games, the Oklahoma City Thunder were able to take revenge and come out the victor by a 114-106 margin in the Western Conference Finals rematch against the San Antonio Spurs.
Russell Westbrook led the Thunder finishing with 34 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists, and 5 steals, while shooting 14/28 from the field and 0/1 from the 3-point line. Westbrook was backed up by Steven Adams, who finished with a double-double of 16 points, 15 rebounds, 2 steals, and 3 blocks. Serge Ibaka added 21 points and 9 rebounds while shooting 8/15 from the field and 3/4 from behind the arc. Perry Jones and Anthony Morrow combined for 29 points.
Meanwhile, the Spurs were lead by Matt Bonner and Tiago Splitter. Bonner scored 17 points and Splitter added 15. The Spurs 'Big Three' of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili combined for 36 points.
Overall, the Thunder shot 52% from the field and 60% from deep, while the Spurs shot 52% from the field as well and 30% from the 3-point line.
The Thunder started the first quarter successfully, with a solid performance on both ends of the floor. Offensively, they used a variety of methods of attack, such as dribble penetration, shooting, pick and roll as well as racking up points from the free throw line and easy buckets. Due to their good defense, they were able to create some offense in which they've scored the fast break points through. However, once the bench was subbed in with 1:40 to go until the end of the first quarter, the Thunder started struggling and were unable to find their rhythm on both ends. This gave the Spurs the opportunity to come back in the game to cut the deficit to 25-22, and the chance to establish some comfort on the floor. Despite that, the Thunder managed to finish the first quarter with a 29-27 lead.
In the initial minutes of the second quarter, the Thunder bench was slow to find its rhythm offensively, which gave the Spurs the opportunity to take control of the second quarter and build up a 40-35 lead with 8:16 to go. However, once Westbrook and the rest of the starters where subbed in, the Thunder returned into their usual form and returned the lead to six points within four minutes.
With 4:11 minutes to play until halftime, the entire team took control. The Thunder launched an 11-0 run and forced the Spurs to commit nine turnovers. After that, the game kept going back and forth until Westbrook forced a deep midrange shot with a minute to go that kept the Thunder ahead of the Spurs by three points at the halftime break, 50-47.
In to the third quarter, the Thunder had several sensational moments in it. They were on fire, finding themselves up by 10 points with six minutes to go until the end of the third quarter. Westbrook specifically was unbelievable in the third quarter, which was the main factor in keeping the Thunder up with a 10-point lead with 3:41 minutes to go. However, due to a lack of boxing out and good defense in the last minutes of the third quarter, the Spurs were able to come back in the game and acquire a one-point lead by the end of the quarter.
The Thunder were a bit slow to start in the fourth quarter, falling behind by four points. However, once Westbrook checked in, he was able to tie the game with eight minutes remaining in play. From there on, the Thunder started to take control of the game, building a 97-93 lead with 4:50 remaining. In the last two minutes, the Thunder started scoring big shots, and with consistently tough defense sprinkled in, the Thunder came out victorious.
What is your initial reaction to tonight's result?
The Thunder finally won after dealing with tough losses due to their inability to close out games well. In today's game, the Thunder were different in every aspect.
What was, overall, the main reason why the Thunder won?
The entire team played with full effort and commitment. We've witnessed the aspects of teamwork finally in the Thunder's offensive rhythm. Five Thunder players finished scoring in double digits. Beside that, their solid defense served them well as it created numerous fast break chances for them.
Next game: The Oklahoma City Thunder return to the Chesapeake Energy Arena to play the Charlotte Hornets