Game 6 notes, preview: Spurs take on Thunder with season on line
San Antonio has averaged 112 points in 2 victories and 95 points in 3 defeats
SAN ANTONIO – You can use up all the cliche's for tonight's Game 6 between the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Backs against the wall, etc.
It is simple, if the Spurs can pull off a win on the road there will be Game 7 Sunday in San Antonio.
If not, a remarkable franchise record 67-win season comes to an end and it might be the end of an era, known as the big three: Tim, Tony and Manu.
Even though they are on the road and it is a close out game, the Spurs are not ready for it to end just yet.
"We have been here before, we have been in this position, don't feel anymore added pressures, more mental than anything," said Danny Green.
“It’s one game at a time, staying positive, not think about getting eliminated just looking forward to what’s ahead preparing for that going a day at a time,” Green said.
"We know what we have against us, multiple championships, veteran guys and great coaching we know we've got to come in locked in," said Andre Roberson.
"We don't want to have to go back to San Antonio and fight for a Game 7, so that is the urgency," said Kevin Durant.
Green admitted after Game 5 that the Thunder were calling out the Spurs plays, not unusual given the fact they have seen each other so much this season and over the years.
The unusual part is the Spurs usually can run a deviation of that play, they just have to be better at executing it.
"Be more crisp, be more fundamentally sound," said Green.
Even though they might want to, don't look for the Spurs to change much, even when it comes to getting more and better shots for Kawhi Leonard down the stretch.
"We are working on inventing a new play that nobody has ever seen before we are going to unleash it tonight, the Thunder won't know what the h***'s going on," said Gregg Popovich.
They really just need to execute the plays they have, grab some rebounds and hit some shots and they can send the series back to San Antonio.
Tipoff for Game 6 is at 7:30 p.m.
ABOUT THE SPURS: NBA MVP runner-up Kawhi Leonard (26 points, five steals in Game 5) and power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (20 points, nine rebounds) have carried San Antonio during the series with occasional help from shooting guard Danny Green (six 3-pointers in Game 5) and point guard Tony Parker (good outings in Game 3 and 4).
But the reserves have been below par and combined for just 11 points on 5-of-18 shooting in Game 5 and getting better efforts from players such as shooting guard Manu Ginobili and center Boris Diaw are a must if San Antonio is to win the next two games.
"We haven't had great bench production," Popovich said after Game 5. "We need a couple more people to help us offensively. That would be great."
ABOUT THE THUNDER: Point guard Russell Westbrook had 35 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in Game 5 and was so superb that everybody overlooked his eight turnovers.
"He plays with such force and such passion," Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan told reporters. "I think he's doing a really good job of realizing when he gets so intense, so competitive, so emotional, he's doing a good job of kind of bringing himself back together and understanding there's four other guys out there depending on him."
Durant scored 23 points on a series-worst 8-of-21 shooting effort in a dropoff from his spectacular 41-point effort in Game 4.
1. San Antonio averaged 112 points in its two victories and 95 points in the three defeats.
2. Oklahoma City C Steven Adams has been a difference-maker with three double-doubles while averaging 10.2 points and 12 rebounds in the series.
3. Green had 20 points in Game 5 and is 16-of-29 from 3-point range in the series.
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