Found June 07, 2012 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
Oklahoma City Thunder
San Antonio Spurs
Los Angeles Lakers
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - For the San Antonio Spurs, a season spent building greatness unraveled almost in an instant.
From 20 straight wins to four consecutive losses, from 18 points up to behind when it counted, the Spurs saw it all wash away too fast.
Kevin Durant had 34 points and 14 rebounds while playing all of regulation for the first time all season, and the Oklahoma City Thunder came back from an 18-point deficit to eliminate San Antonio with a 107-99 victory in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals on Wednesday night.
"It is very disappointing. I thought this was our time to get back to the finals and push for another championship," said four-time champion Tim Duncan, who had 25 points and 14 rebounds.
"That was our singular goal but obviously it ends here."
Just a week earlier, the Spurs seemed well on their way. They were only the fourth NBA team ever to win 20 straight games. Then came four losses in seven days.
"It's upsetting for the organization, the team, the fans and the city. It's something where we were definitely trying to get to the championship," said Stephen Jackson, who hit six 3-pointers and scored 23 points.
"It's upsetting. Tim wanted it bad and I wanted it bad for Tim. At the end of the day you have to take your hats off to those guys."
Russell Westbrook added 25 points for the Thunder, who erased a 15-point halftime deficit before pulling ahead to stay in the fourth.
Durant grabbed the final rebound, dribbled the ball across halfcourt and raised his right fist to celebrate with a sold-out crowd wearing free white T-shirts. The franchise will play for the NBA title for the first time since 1996, before relocating from Seattle.
Even before the final buzzer, Durant indulged by hugging his mother and brother seated courtside after a foul was called with 14 seconds remaining.
"I never want to take those moments for granted," Durant said. "I know it's just one step closer to our dreams, but it felt good."
Tony Parker had 29 points and 12 assists for San Antonio, but only eight of the points and two assists came in the second half. Oklahoma City outscored the Spurs 59-36 after halftime.
The Thunder took the lead for good early in the fourth quarter, getting nine of their first 13 points on free throws as the fouls started to pile up for San Antonio - six on the defensive end and three on the offensive end in the first 7 minutes.
Even Durant drew what he thought was his first charge of the season, stepping in front of Ginobili.
"Down the stretch, it seemed like they got every whistle possible and that really changed the tide," Duncan said. "We were playing tough defense and trying to get stops, but the whistle kept blowing and they went to the line."
The Thunder, only three years removed from a 3-29 start that had them on pace for the worst record in NBA history, went through the only three West teams to reach the finals since 1998 - Dallas, the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio - to earn their shot at the title.
Game 1 of the NBA finals will be Tuesday night in Oklahoma City against either Boston or Miami. The Celtics lead that series 3-2 and can earn a trip to the finals with a win at home in Game 6 on Thursday night.
The Spurs had the home-court edge in this series after pushing past Oklahoma City during the last month of the regular season for the best record in the league. But the Thunder took that back by winning Game 5 in San Antonio on Monday night.
"There's not much to complain about," San Antonio's Manu Ginobili said. "We had a great run. We just couldn't beat these guys."
Derek Fisher and James Harden hit 3-pointers in a three-possession span to bump Oklahoma City's lead to 99-93 with 3:13 remaining. Jackson, who had made his previous six 3-pointers, and Parker both missed 3s that would have gotten the Spurs within 103-102 in the final minute.
The Spurs put up quite a fight, at least for the first half.
Parker, who had been largely bottled up ever since the Thunder put 6-foot-7 defensive specialist Thabo Sefolosha on him in Game 3, had a hand in the Spurs' first 12 baskets, making seven on his own and assisting on the other five.
Kawhi Leonard and Jackson followed his three-point play by nailing back-to-back 3-pointers for a 34-16 advantage in the final 2 minutes of the first quarter.
The Thunder stormed back with an 11-2 run to start the third quarter and eventually pulled ahead after Durant's 3-pointer from the top of the key made it 79-77 with 1:41 left in the period.
"The third quarter, it was like playing in mud," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "So, that was our downfall as much as anything."
NOTES: Popovich, whose request for his team to play nasty led to T-shirts being made in San Antonio, said at the morning shootaround that his team needed to play "with a little bit of ugly." Not nasty? "I was trying to stay away from that word," he said. ... San Antonio had a 29-28 edge in the second quarter after getting outscored 138-106 in the period in the first five games - dropping more than six points per game. ... Greg Willard was initially scheduled to be one of the three officials but pulled out due to illness. Rodney Mott replaced him, alongside Joe Crawford and Bill Kennedy.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
With the Oklahoma City Thunder appearing in their first ever NBA Finals. Everything is going right for Kevin Durant. To add to all the good things coming up for NBA superstar, the trailer for his new family friendly movie called Thunderstruck was recently released. Instead of the old body-switching model, he (playing himself) faces difficulty because of a talent-transfer which...
This is the trailer to Kevin Durant’s movie, Thunderstruck, which is to be released this summer — August 24th is the specific date — and watch in all of its epic terribleness. To be fair, it’s meant for the Disney-esque audience, and call me crazy, but I’d watch it. H/T NewsOK
Just before the Oklahoma City Thunder were about to win game six of the Western Conference Finals and head to the NBA Finals, star Kevin Durant decided to hug his family who were sitting courtside.
It might be one of the most touching moments of the NBA playoffs so far:
OKLAHOMA CITY After a Game 5 win, Thunder forward Kevin Durant said he and his team never felt like they had to wait their turn in the NBA's version of Game of Thrones.
Maybe Durant's right. There's no hierarchy in the Association, at least since Michael Jordan retired and left the many kingdoms of the league to muddle over the aristocracy.
Heading into this season...
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Kevin Durant had 34 points and 14 rebounds while playing all of regulation for the first time all season, and the Oklahoma City Thunder claimed a spot in the NBA finals by beating the San Antonio Spurs 107-99 on Wednesday night.
Russell Westbrook added 25 points for the Thunder, who trailed Game 6 of the Western Conference finals by 18 in the first half and...
Kevin Durant had 34 points and 14 rebounds while playing all of regulation for the first time all season, and the Oklahoma City Thunder claimed a spot in the NBA finals by beating the San Antonio Spurs 107-99 on Wednesday night.
Russell Westbrook added 25 points for the Thunder, who trailed Game 6 of the Western Conference finals by 18 in the first half and erased a 15-point halftime...
5 years ago, Kevin Durant heard his name called at the NBA draft, number 2 overall to the Seattle Sonics. In the time that has passed, the baby faced, mama's boy, 6'9" forward has turned into a 3 time scoring champion. His team has become exemplary for other NBA teams that wish to build through the draft. Young, fast, athletic and talented, the Thunder look...
Is Oklahoma City growing up before our eyes? Is this the Thunder's time? The answer to both questions could come as early as Wednesday. "We never just thought that we were supposed to wait our turn," Kevin Durant said after Monday's 108-103 win in San Antonio. "We always wanted to go and take everything. "Coach always emphasizes that every opportunity...
A 15-point halftime deficit couldn't stop Kevin Durant and the rest of the Oklahoma City Thunder of their championship dreams. And after a 107-99 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night, the Thunder are now Western Conference Champions and will await the winner between Miami and Boston to battle in The Finals. The Spurs, who were facing elimination, got...
Here is a photo of the front page from the Tri-City Herald in Kennewick, Washington. It seems that they are extremely excited about the Oklahoma City Thunder winning the Western Conference. Yeah, I think it is safe to say they are still smarting over the SuperSonics leaving town after Kevin Durant’s rookie season. Blame Starbucks. H/T [...]
Who would have thought that after losing the first two games that the Oklahoma City Thunder would be beat the San Antonio Spurs three games straight? That is exactly what happened with the Thunder’s 108 to 103 victory in game 5 at San Antonio. Now, the Thunder have a chance to close out the Spurs in game 6 at Oklahoma City. The Thunder are unbeatable at home this...
Oklahoma City trailed by 18 points... at home... in a closeout game... against a seasoned, veteran, championship team in San Antonio.
It was both masterful and stunning. The Spurs looked invincible, playing free and loose for the first time since Game Two. The Thunder looked wide-eyed and overwhelmed by the moment and the pressure to finish with an amped up crowd at home.
The Thunder's age or relative inexperience is no longer an issue. Immature squads don't come back from 18-point deficits against teams like the San Antonio Spurs. Oklahoma City did just that Wednesday night, staving off what appeared to be a certain Game 7 back in San Antonio with a rousing second half. Led by future MVP Kevin Durant, the Thunder punched their ticket to...
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma City Thunder are headed to the NBA Finals. Kevin Durant scored a game-high 34 points with 14 rebounds, Russell Westbrook added 25 points and James Harden scored 16 off the bench to lead the Thunder to a 107-99 win over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals to win the series 4-2. It's the Thunder franchise's first...