Thunder Defeat Spurs, Move Within One Win of Place in NBA Finals
Kevin Durant had 27 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder moved within one victory of reaching the National Basketball Association Finals with a 108-103 win against the host San Antonio Spurs.
Russell Westbrook added 23 points as the Thunder took a three-games-to-two lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals. Game 6 is scheduled for June 6 in Oklahoma City.
Manu Ginobili had 34 points to lead San Antonio.
The game featured several big lead shifts. The Thunder took a 14-point lead two minutes before halftime, only to have the Spurs build a six-point advantage midway through the third period. Oklahoma City responded with a 25-10 run to finish the third quarter, and took a nine-point lead into the fourth period.
In the final quarter, the Spurs fell behind by 13 points before Tim Duncan scored six straight points in an 11-0 San Antonio run to make it 101-99 with two minutes remaining. The teams traded baskets before James Harden hit a 3-pointer to give the Thunder a 106-101 lead with 29 seconds left.
Ginobili hit a layup with 22 seconds left and the Spurs then forced a turnover. Ginobili missed a 3-pointer that would have tied the game with four seconds left, and Durant hit two clinching free throws.
The winner of the series will face the Miami Heat or the Boston Celtics for the NBA championship. The Heat and Celtics are tied 2-2 in the Eastern Conference finals with Game 5 set for tomorrow in Miami.
Heat All-Star forward Chris Bosh could return tomorrow from an abdominal strain that has sidelined him since May 13. After three weeks of being listed as out indefinitely, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said today that Bosh has made considerable progress in his rehabilitation.
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