Every morning, we'll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.1: OKC is going to the NBA Finals.
The Oklahoma City Thunder, who partly figured out the Spurs and partly overwhelmed them, are going to the NBA Finals. They are the 15th team in NBA history to overcome a 2-0 deficit to reach the NBA Finals. It was an improbable comeback in the series, and in the game, as the Thunder trailed by as many as 18 against a team that had reached "juggernaut" status just a few days ago.
The Thunder did it the way they usually do it... with big production from Durant, Westbrook and Harden and then some help here and there from everyone else along the way. The OKC "Big 3" scored 75 of the 107 points, and a large chunk of that came courtesy of Durant (more on him in a minute). Now the Thunder wait for Miami and Boston to finish up their little dance.
The Spurs, meanwhile, have a lot of 'splainin' to do. They JUST became everyone's favorite team. They JUST earned peoples' respect for their amazing season. People were finally paying attention, and they wilted under the spotlight.
Of course, that's a GROSS oversimplification and it isn't meant to suggest they couldn't handle the pressure. OKC just exposed them at a very bad time for San Antonio. Parker was reduced to good when the team needed him to play at an MVP level. Duncan's production was limited by a pair of really good post defenders. And the Spurs bench, their biggest strength that allowed them to be the juggernaut that they were, disappeared.
Congratulations OKC. It's a very well-deserved victory.2: Bosh might start tonight
The Boston Celtics went on a pivotal 15-1 run with Chris Bosh on the floor in Game 5, but still the talk afterwards was partly about why Bosh wasn't on the floor to finish the game as the Heat faltered and the Celtics stole a 3-2 series lead. At the time, Erik Spoelstra said he didn't think it was fair to put Bosh in that situation.
Well, he might put Bosh in a different situation tonight, as there is some talk now that Bosh will start Game 6.
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is still debating whether to start forward Chris Bosh Thursday against the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Bosh returned to the lineup for the first time in Tuesday’s Game 5, scoring nine points and grabbing seven rebounds. He had missed the previous nine postseason games because of a strained lower abdominal muscle.
"I’m still going through that thought process," Spoelstra said. "I think he’ll be able to handle to a bigger load of minutes, and it will be based on how he feels throughout the game."
Bosh put up solid numbers (9 points, 7 rebounds) in his limited minutes, but it's how he affects his teammates' performances that will be the true measure of his worth going forward. If he can help space the floor and create lanes for others, then he'll be a huge help. If the Celtics can still double off of him without much worry, then this will be the same ol' series.3: HIGHLIGHTS!!!
Russell Westbrook is explosive and emphatic
Fisher is clutch
Perkins finishes it off
4: Line of the Night: Kevin Durant - 34 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal
KD played every minute of this game. It was the first time all season that he'd done that, and the Thunder needed every second of him on the floor. He didn't have the "takeover" fourth quarter like he had in Game 4, but he had five rebounds in the quarter to go along with six points, showing he was going to do whatever it took to help his team win.5: You can quote me on that
You know, they went through Dallas, last year's NBA champion, then they went through the Lakers, then they went through us. Those three teams represent 10 of the last 13 championships, and now they're going to go to The Finals and play either Boston or Miami, and that'll be 11 of the last 13 championships. I don't know if anybody has ever had a run or gone through a playoff playing those kinds of teams. It's just incredible, and I think it's pretty cool for them.
-Gregg Popovich, after Game 6
I respect Tim Duncan and the whole organization so much. You know, just their professionalism. They do things the right way. They play the game the right way. They're a family, and that's something that we kind of try to model here, as well. It just felt good for somebody of that stature with that many championship rings to recognize us that way, and it also felt good to come out here and get a win against them.
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