Spurs win hard fought, intense Game 3 against Thunder
Spurs lead series 2-1; Game 4 Sunday in OKC
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma – The San Antonio Spurs came out for Game 3 against the Oklahoma City Thunder as you would expect, focused.
They got home court advantage back with a 100-96 win over the Thunder.
After struggling in Game 2, Kawhi Leonard came out determined to not have a repeat game.
He had 11 points in the first quarter and finished with a team high 31. Andre Roberson guarded him again but he was not to be denied.
"It just went in tonight," said Leonard. The Spurs took a seven point lead, 27-20, after the first quarter.
They kept it going in the second quarter, getting the lead up to 15 points but OKC came back and cut the lead to five at half, 47-42.
Once again LaMarcus Aldridge fought his way to a big night with 24 points.
But one of the heroes for the Spurs was Tony Parker. He helped keep the Thunder at bay with his best night in the playoffs so far.
Parker hit three 3-pointers including two in the third quarter.
After the Thunder went on a 12-5 run to open the fourth quarter and take a four point lead, Parker came up big again.
He scored six points down the stretch and finished with 19 points on 7 of 14 shooting. He also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out five assists.
"Pop called some plays for me and some of them, they just left my wide open so I took them," said Parker.
"He was pretty big for them tonight, like I said transition was killing us, he had a couple of wide open looks," said Andre Roberson.
"He started out a little bit rough but he kept his poise, he kept his focus, and had a great second half. He ran the show," said Gregg Popovich.
The Spurs did get some help from the Thunder who turned it over four times in the fourth quarter. Russell Westbrook had three and Kevin Durant had one.
"Just got to do a better job man. Lock in. Take responsibility when the ball is in my hands and make plays for my teammates. I didn't do that tonight," said Westbrook, who also had 31 points but took 31 shots.
One of the biggest plays that helped seal the victory for the Spurs was a rebound.
With 25.9 seconds left Aldridge missed a turnaround jumper and Kawhi Leonard fought for and got the rebound.
Parker got fouled and made both free throws and the Spurs were up four, 98-94.
"I thought it was good. Then it hit the back of the rim and I saw David and Kawhi battling for it, so when they came up with it that was a sigh of relief," said Aldridge.
David West also had a good night. He played 25 minutes scored seven points and grabbed a couple of rebounds.
Another stat that stands out for the Spurs, free throw shooting. It was bad then good.
The Spurs were only 13 of 22 through the first three quarters, then in the fourth they found their stroke and hit 10 of 11. "I thought that was pretty nice," said Popovich.
A win Sunday in Game 4 would also be pretty nice. The Spurs can take a 3-1 lead over the Thunder with a victory, heading back to San Antonio. Tip-off for Game 4 is 7 p.m.
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