Thunder take 3-2 series lead with 95-91 win over Spurs
San Antonio was outscored 34-16 in final quarter of Game 4
SAN ANTONIO – In-Game Updates: The Thunder took down the Spurs 95-91 in Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead.
On the day San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard finished second in the MVP voting, behind unanimous winner Stephen Curry and ahead of LeBron James, the Spurs’ MVP will be trying to help get his team a Game 5 win Tuesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Thunder tied the series 2-2 with a Kevin Durant fourth quarter barrage. Durant scored 17 points in the quarter and 41 in the game to lead the Thunder to the 111-97 win.
"He is a great player so he is going to have one of those games, that was Game 4," said Tony Parker.
"It's tough to stop him, we want to continue to make his catches tough, limit his touches and make all his shots contested," said Danny Green.
For Durant, it is all about how the Spurs are guarding him.
"When I see single coverage I try to look to score especially over a smaller guy and if a bigger guy is guarding me try to go past him," said Durant.
While trying to slow down Durant's offense, Green will be looking for his since he was 0 of 3 shooting in Game 4 for zero points.
"Obviously they did a great job of sticking with me and not letting me get open and not leaving me in the corners," said Green.
In order to help out Green and the offense in general, San Antonio will be looking to change things up some in Game 5.
"Our pace has been a little slower so we might change the pace a little bit pick it up do different things try to get the ball moving a little more see how that works," Green said.
"Play our game," said Tony Parker.
The Spurs do have home court advantage back, but they cannot let that slip away. It is not a make or break, but it will go a long way towards finishing off the Thunder if they can pull off a Game 5 victory.
"We have to bring the juice and match their energy," Parker said.
"Every player is going to leave it out there tonight I'm sure and just, who wants it more we got to be excited for that," said Durant.
Game 5 tips off Tuesday night from the AT&T Center at 7 p.m.
ABOUT THE THUNDER: Durant is averaging 27.8 points in the series - he opened with a subpar 16-point showing in Game 1 - and point guard Russell Westbrook is averaging 22 points and 10.5 assists despite shooting just 33.3 percent. The biggest surprise has been the play of 22-year-old center Steven Adams, who has grabbed 10 or more rebounds in each of the four games while averaging 9.8 points and 12.3 rebounds as well as annoying most of the Spurs.
"He makes the other bigs hate him because he goes hard every time," backup center Enes Kanter told reporters. "He gets under their skin, and in their head."
ABOUT THE SPURS: San Antonio was awful while being outscored 34-16 in the final quarter of Game 4 and it was more than Durant's greatness that decided the contest.
"I think down the stretch in the fourth quarter, we made too many mistakes," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters. "Just not remembering who we were guarding and how we wanted to play. But having said that, they out-toughed us, they battered us on the boards. At the same time, they had some other players that joined in and made shots."
Point guard Tony Parker was strong offensively for the second straight game with 22 points - he is averaging 20.5 over the past two games after averaging just 4.5 over the first two contests.
1. Spurs C Tim Duncan went scoreless in 12 minutes in Game 4 and has been a complete nonfactor in the series, averaging three points and 3.8 rebounds.
2. Oklahoma City backup SG Dion Waiters scored 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting in Game 4 after being 6-of-17 shooting over the first three games.
3. San Antonio PF LaMarcus Aldridge, averaging 30.8 points in the series, is just 16-of-39 shooting over the last two games after being a splendid 33-of-44 over the first two contests.
KSAT 12 & SportsDirect Inc.