#2 San Antonio Spurs vs. #3 Oklahoma City Thunder, OKC leads series 3-2 (8:30pm ET Thursday, ESPN)
It wasn’t pretty, but Russell Westbrook threw the Thunder over his back and willed them to a 95-91 victory over the Spurs on Tuesday, to bring them within one more win from a trip to the Western Conference finals.
The San Antonio Spurs were up by 6 with 3:55 to play after Kawhi Leonard stole a pass and ran it back the other way for a monster dunk. But the Thunder answered with an 8-point run over the next 2 minutes to take back the lead. Then, up 92-91 with 9 seconds to go, the Thunder came out of a time out and got the ball to Westbrook, who turned the corner along the baseline and laid it in, drawing a foul from LaMarcus Aldridge for the +1 that made it 95-91. The Spurs heaved up a couple desperation threes in the final 6 seconds, but it was to no avail.
Westbrook made just 12 of 27 from the floor and made 8 turnovers, but he was perfect from the line, going 8-for-8 on his way to scoring a game-high 35 points, to go along with 11 rebounds and 9 assists, and down the stretch made the play that put the game out of reach.
Leonard himself had a great game, scoring 26 points on 12-of-21 shooting, while pulling down 6 rebounds, dishing out 4 assists and grabbing 5 steals and turning the ball over just once in 39 minutes. Tim Duncan continued to be a non-factor, scoring just 5 points on 1-of-6 shooting, with three rebounds in 28 minutes, while LaMarcus Aldridge had a tough game, making just 6 of 21 from the floor, though he did pull down 9 rebounds.