OKLAHOMA CITY — When the Oklahoma City Thunder left San Antonio a week ago, things were not good. They trailed the Spurs 0-2 in the Western Conference Finals and had been written off by much of the country, who saw them lose by 35 points.
However, in those seven days, the Thunder have turned the tide and possibly snatched momentum in the series with consecutive home wins. The latest came Tuesday as Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined to score 71 points to lead the Oklahoma City to a 105-92 victory over San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The best-of-seven series is tied 2-2, with Game 5 scheduled for Thursday in San Antonio.
“When we left San Antonio, we didn’t feel good,” coach Scott Brooks said. “It wasn’t a good feeling. We were disappointed in
ourselves. I was disappointed in myself. I was
disappointed that we didn’t play the way we’re capable of playing.”
Westbrook ended the night with 40 points, 10 assists and five steals. He is the first player since Michael Jordan in 1989 to post those numbers in the playoffs.
“It’s fun to watch,” Durant said of Westbrook. “You know, for a guy to just go out there and just — you know how much he wants to win and just lay it all out there and play extremely hard every possession.”
Durant dropped in 31 points on 11-of-22 shooting. No other Thunder player scored in double figures, but Serge Ibaka added nine points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots as he helped hold the Spurs to only 36 points in the paint. The Thunder have won both games in which Ibaka has played in this series.
“We didn’t play smart on a consistent basis, and all of a sudden, we were going to see if Serge could block a shot or something,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “I thought about passing a picture out on the bench so they’d know who Serge was.”