SAN ANTONIO — For two consecutive games, the San Antonio Spurs seemed to be missing something. In back-to-back losses in Oklahoma, they looked completely different than the squad that had racked up the best record in the NBA.
It wasn’t until the Spurs returned home for Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals that they found that missing ingredient — desperation. San Antonio pounced on the Thunder and rolled to a 117-89 victory Thursday at the AT&T Center.
The Spurs lead the series 3-2, with Game 6 taking place Saturday in Oklahoma City. The Thunder are now one game away from being eliminated from the postseason after having control wrestled back away from them.
“Every night is different,” Manu Ginobili said. “We reacted better to the loss than they reacted to the win. We were upset. We were disappointed at what we did in Oklahoma City. We came with more fire.”
Each of the five games between the top two teams in the West have been considered blowouts. Only one finished with a final deficit not in double figures
“If we want to get to the next level, we’ve got to win on the road,” Russell Westbrook said. “Regardless of where we play at, we’ve just got to win.”
Kevin Durant had a quiet 25 points, five rebounds and two assists. Westbrook added 21 points on 6-for-12 shooting. He also tallied seven assists and four boards. Serge Ibaka was held to six points, two rebounds and two blocked shots as he had little impact on the Spurs’ offense.
Tim Duncan paced the Spurs with 22 points while Ginobili added 19. Tony Parker didn’t light up the scoreboard with his 12 points, but he still controlled the tempo as he only turned the ball over twice.
From the beginning it was easy to see San Antonio felt more comfortable at home as they got off to another quick start. The scoring was spread out as Duncan, Green, Parker and Leonard took turns creating havoc.