Spurs vs. Thunder
The second-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder are on the verge of knocking the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs out of the NBA playoffs heading into Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday. The Thunder did the unthinkable and won 108-103 at San Antonio on Monday to beat the Spurs for the third straight time, also improving to 4-1 against the spread in the series as they try to advance to the NBA Finals with one more victory at home.
Different Oklahoma City players have stayed up to support star Kevin Durant throughout the first five Games of the series so far, and they have put the team in position to advance to the championship round for the first time since moving from Seattle and appearing in the NBA Finals back in 1996. Sidekicks Russell Westbrook and James Harden came up big again in Game 5, scoring 23 and 20 points, respectively, to complement Durant’s team-high 27. Westbrook also dished out a series-high 12 assists and had Four steals, and he and Harden both hit huge shots down the stretch to hold off San Antonio.
The Spurs got a Game-high 34 points from Manu Ginobili, who started for the first time in the series, replacing an ineffective Danny Green. But San Antonio point guard Tony Parker struggled with his shooting and holding onto the ball, making just 5 of 14 shots from the field and committing five turnovers with just Four assists. Parker has not had more than Four assists in any of the last three Games, with the Spurs losing all of them. He has also turned the ball over 11 times during the skid compared to six in the first two wins.
San Antonio must now try to find a way to win at Chesapeake Energy Arena, one of the toughest places to play in the NBA. The Thunder have not lost there in the playoffs, going 7-0 straight-up and 4-3 ATS. A win by the Spurs would send the series back home to the AT&T Center for Game 7 on Friday. They faced a similar scenario when trailing the New Orleans Hornets 3-2 in 2008, winning the last two Games en route to the Western Conference Finals. However, they won Game 6 at home that year before upsetting the Hornets on the road in Game 7.
The OVER has cashed in three of the last Four Games in the Western Conference Finals and is 5-2 in Oklahoma City’s home Games in the playoffs. The UNDER is 4-2 in San Antonio’s six road Games this postseason.