San Antonio wins series 4-2 (Game 4 of 6)

San Antonio wins series 4-2

Game 1: Monday, May 19th
Game 2: Wednesday, May 21st
Game 3: Sunday, May 25th
Game 4: Tuesday, May 27th
Game 5: Thursday, May 29th
Game 6: Saturday, May 31st

Spurs 92

(62-20, 30-11 away)

Thunder 105

(59-23, 34-7 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    9:00 PM ET, May 27, 2014

    Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

    1 2 3 4 T
    SA 20 23 24 2592
    OKC 26 32 25 22105

    Top Performers

    SA: B. Diaw 14 Pts, 10 Reb, 3 Ast

    Okc: R. Westbrook 40 Pts, 5 Reb, 10 Ast, 5 Stl, 1 Blk

    Spurs-Thunder Preview

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- So far, so good for Serge Ibaka's comeback.

    The Thunder forward said Monday that his strained left calf is feeling fine, and he expects to be able to play Tuesday in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.

    Ibaka came back from what was thought to be a season-ending injury to play 30 minutes in Game 3 against San Antonio. He had 15 points, seven rebounds and four blocks to help Oklahoma City beat the Spurs 106-97 Sunday night and trim their deficit in the series to 2-1.

    Ibaka said he felt no worse on Monday than the night before. He said it was a struggle during the game, but he stayed loose and was able to deal with the pain.

    "It was kind of hard a little bit with my feet," he said. "I was using more my right foot than left foot. I could not do too much last night. After we saw the video, I felt like I was slow."

    If that was Ibaka's version of not doing much, San Antonio might have a problem. The Spurs won the first two games by a combined 52 points, but with Ibaka, Oklahoma City dominated on Sunday and led by 20 with just over three minutes to go.

    "I love what he did," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "I love the determination that he played with. That's something that he's done all along. That was a great, great game by him. He impacted the game both ends of the floor."

    Ibaka isn't worried about re-injuring the calf or making it worse. His single concern is being on the floor for his team.

    "When we sign here in the NBA, we sign on everything, man," he said. "At the end of the day, no matter what happened last night ... I signed for this."

    The Spurs said they have more problems than Ibaka. They said to win Tuesday, they need to improve their shooting, rebounding and penetration.

    "We just need to play better, shoot the ball better," Spurs forward Tim Duncan said. "Just continue to attack and be more aggressive and try to get to the basket, get to the free throw line, just get them on their heels a little bit. I think we got on our heels too much, and the result was what it was."

    The Spurs also need to keep Oklahoma City off the free-throw line. The Thunder outscored the Spurs 26-15 from the line on Sunday as Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant both went 8-for-8. Westbrook and Durant had combined for just 17 free-throw attempts in the first two games combined.

    "The disparity in free throws really shows a sign of aggressiveness," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "It's about the game. It's about how you play."

    The Thunder made several key changes for Game 3 that did not involve Ibaka. Backup point guard Reggie Jackson started and scored 15 points, adding another scoring threat to take pressure off Durant and Westbrook. Steven Adams, a rookie center, had seven points, nine rebounds and four blocks in 30 minutes. Guard Thabo Sefolosha and forward Nick Collison, who started the first two games of the series, didn't play at all.

    Brooks, who rarely makes lineup changes, wasn't sure why this particular set of decisions worked so well. He said more adjustments might be forthcoming.

    "I have confidence in the different styles that we can play, big or small, so whoever we play, you've got to play with five guys, and whoever we decide, I have confidence, the team has confidence," he said.

    Oklahoma City outrebounded the Spurs 52-36 on Sunday after getting outrebounded by three in Game 1 and 15 in Game 2.

    Sunday, for the first time in the series, San Antonio's offense sputtered. San Antonio shot 40 percent from the field after shooting at least 50 percent in Games 1 and 2. Ginobili scored 23 points on Sunday and Duncan scored 16 points, but no other Spurs scored more than 10.

    Tony Parker struggled with Westbrook's and Jackson's improved defense. Parker made just 4 of 13 shots and had nine points, four assists and four turnovers.

    "I take a lot of responsibility," Parker said. "That's my job on this team, to get everything going. That's why I took it hard last night, because I felt like I didn't play well."


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    Research Notes

    Russell Westbrook is the 1st player with 30 points, 10 assists and 5 steals in a playoff game since Allen Iverson in 2003 against the Pistons. He is 1 of 6 players to hit those marks in a playoff game in the last 25 seasons
    Russell Westbrook scored 40 points Tuesday and had 10 assists that led to 23 more points. The 63 points created were the second most of his career (previous high 65 in Game 7 of Round 1 vs the Grizzlies). Westbrook assisted on 14 of Kevin Durant's 31 points. How was Westbrook so effective on offense? Despite picking up 10 assists, Westbrook had 19 plays in which he was the only player to touch the ball, his most in a game this series. His ability to pick his spots better in Game 4 led to a more efficient approach on those plays. On drives, Westbrook was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and drew five shooting fouls. His 20 points on drives were three shy of his total from the first three games combined (7-of-15, 10 free throws on drives in first three games).
    Kevin Durant was 6 of 10 in the paint Tuesday. His second straight game with six such makes after having a combined four field goals in the paint in Games 1 and 2.
    The Thunder outscored the Spurs 21-0 in fastbreak points, their 3rd-best fastbreak points differential in a playoff game since Durant and Westbrook joined the team. In addition, they've allowed 38 paint points per game in the last 2 games after allowing 60 paint points per game in the first 2 games of the series.
    The aggressive play by Westbrook and Durant, as well as the higher transition output, helped the Thunder shoot 71.0 percent in the paint Tuesday, their highest of the postseason.

    The Thunder also dominated the interior on the defensive end. The Spurs shot 45.0 percent in the paint Tuesday, their lowest this postseason. Their previous low was 47.6 percent, done in Game 3 against the Thunder.
    The Thunder turned the ball over on 7.7 percent of their possessions Tuesday, their lowest in the postseason and second-lowest this season. It also their third-lowest turnover percentage in franchise postseason history.
    It is Westbrook's 3rd 30-point, 10-assist game this postseason. That is tied for the 4th-most such games in a single postseason in NBA history.
    Kevin Durant's 22 first-half points are his 2nd-most first-half points in his postseason career (27 on April 27, 2013 vs HOU) The Thunder are 6-0 in the postseason when Durant scores 20+ in the first half
    The Thunder outscored the Spurs 22-0 in transition in the first half Tuesday. The Spurs haven't even recorded a play in transition. Russell Westbrook scored or assisted on 14 of the 22 transition points.
    It's the first time this postseason that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both committed 0 turnovers in the 1st half. It's the 3rd time in 71 postseason games together that Durant and Westbrook had 0 turnovers in the 1st half (1st time since May 14, 2012 vs Lakers). It's the 1st time they've ever combined for at least 30 points and 0 turnovers in the 1st half of a playoff game.
    Russell Westbrook sparked the Thunder's running game Tuesday as he scored or assisted on 17 of their series-high 29 transition points. Westbrook forced five turnovers as a primary defender Tuesday that led to nine transition points for the Thunder.
    Entering the game, the Spurs and Thunder had each scored 37 transition points, with the Thunder having two more transition plays.
    Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant scored 39 of the Thunder's 58 first half points Tuesday. Neither player committed a turnover, the first time this postseason neither both had zero combined turnovers at the half.
    FROM ELIAS: Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant each scored 30 points and shot at least 50 percent in a playoff game together for the 3rd time. The only other teammates to do that multiple times in the postseason together over the last 10 years are LeBron James and Dwyane Wade (3x) along with Tony Parker and Tim Duncan (2x)

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