OKLAHOMA CITY - Forward Tim Duncan scored 19 points to lead San Antonio to a 112-107 overtime victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Spurs won the Western Conference Finals 4-2 and advanced to the NBA Finals next week. The Thunder’s season came to an end.
With the Thunder leading by one, Duncan went to the post and made a shot over Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka to put Spurs ahead with 2:50 left in overtime.
Guard Russell Westbrook put the Thunder back in front with a layup. San Antonio went to Duncan again with 1::23 left and he was fouled by Ibaka. Duncan made both free throws to give the Spurs the lead.
Duncan got the ball again with Thunder guard Reggie Jackson on him in the post. Westbrook tried to double, but Duncan still got a friendly roll on his shot and put San Antonio up by three with 19.4 seconds left.
After a timeout, Oklahoma City got the ball to forward Kevin Durant, who had a good look at a potential tying 3-pointer. But his shot was off and the Spurs grabbed the rebound. They made their free throws to close out the night and the Thunder’s season.
Duncan also collected 15 rebounds and two assists for San Antonio. Guard Kawhi Leonard added 17 points and 11 rebounds. Guard Manu Ginobili came off the bench to score 15 points.
Westbrook paced the Thunder with 34 points, six steals, seven rebounds, eight assists and seven turnovers. Durant scored 31 points on 12-for-25 shooting from the field to go with 14 rebounds and seven turnovers.
Jackson added 21 points and Ibaka scored 16.
The chess match between Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Thunder coach Scott Brooks began at tipoff. With Leonard moving over to defend Westbrook, that left forward Danny Green to check Durant. The four-time scoring took Green into the post and paint and shot over his shorter defender.
Popovich countered by bringing forward Boris Diaw in and he changed the complexion of the game. Whether it was Ibaka or Westbrook, the Thunder couldn’t matchup with the versatile big man. He finished the first half with 10 points.
However, a late flurry by Jackson, Westbrook and Durant gave the Thunder a 49-42 halftime advantage. Along with Ibaka, the foursome scored all of Oklahoma City’s points in the half.
Even though Oklahoma City F Kevin Durant was named MVP this season, he said the award didn’t add any more pressure. “Pressure comes from everybody else from the outside, from media, from friends, family, but I play this game because I love it, and I play to win,” Durant said. “If I give it my all, it may not be enough for everybody else, but I know what I gave, so I can live with it.” ... Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said setting his starting lineup was not rocket science. A media member then asked him if he studied rocket science at the academy. “I had aeronautical engineering and astronomical engineering courses,” Popovich said. “I got D’s. So far, the questions are amazing. I’m enjoying the hell out of this. Keep them coming. This is great.” ... San Antonio started F Mattt Bonner for the second straight game.