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Spurs rout Thunder to take 3-2 lead in West finals

KDWN

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich stared blankly at a reporter, dumbfounded as he often is when dealing the media.

Is there any way to explain the Jekyll-and-Hyde nature of the Western Conference finals, where the home team has won each game in a blowout?

“You’re serious?” Popovich said. “You really think I can explain that? Good Lord. And they pay you, don’t they?”

Tim Duncan had 22 points and 12 rebounds, Manu Ginobili scored 19 points and San Antonio rolled to a 117-89 victory over Oklahoma City in Game 5 Thursday night, taking a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series to put the Thunder on the brink of elimination.

The latest lopsided loss in the West finals came two days after the Thunder used their superior athleticism to fluster the veteran Spurs in Oklahoma City in Game 4.

“We’ve just got to worry about the next game,” Kevin Durant said. “We’re guaranteed 48 more minutes. It’s been an up-and-down series, but we’ve got to find a way to win it in Game 6. If we want to get to where we want to get to, we’ve got to win in San Antonio, but we’ve got to get to the next game.”

The series resumes Saturday in Oklahoma City.

Durant scored 25 points, but Russell Westbrook had only 21 points and seven assists after finishing with 40 points and 10 assists in Game 4.

“Nothing,” changed defensively, Westbrook said. Yet, he was unable to charge the lane as effectively as he did while putting up 24 shots and reaching the free throw line 14 times on Tuesday.

He shot 6 for 12 from the field and 7 for 9 on free throws while again being guarded primarily by 6-foot-8 forward Kawhi Leonard.

“I think I did OK,” Leonard said. “We all did well as a group defensively, by just keeping a hand up and forcing difficult shots for everyone.”

That added aggression was key to winning, Popovich said before Game 5, and his team responded.

The Spurs had 23 assists, shot 30 free throws and outrebounded the Thunder 48-35. San Antonio also was 13 for 26 on 3-pointers and limited Oklahoma City to four fast-break points after giving up 21 in Game 4.

Leonard and Danny Green each had 14 points, Boris Diaw added 13 and Tony Parker scored 12 for the Spurs, who are a win away from returning to the NBA Finals after losing in seven games to Miami last year.

After losing twice in Oklahoma City by an average of 11 points, San Antonio upped its winning margin in San Antonio to 26.7 points.

Reggie Jackson had 11 points, but Serge Ibaka was held to six points and two rebounds after dominating the interior in Oklahoma City.

“It’s tough,” Ibaka said. “It’s a tough loss for us, and you need to give them a lot of credit. They played their best basketball tonight. They were better than us, they were more aggressive, but this happens sometimes. Now our focus is on the next game.”

The Spurs started Matt Bonner in place of Tiago Splitter to draw Ibaka out of the paint and it worked early. It also helped defensively, as Ibaka attacked Bonner but missed his first five shots on a series of running hooks. Duncan also was able to help, rolling over to block a layup attempt by Ibaka.

“He didn’t have the games that he had the last two games, that’s pretty clear,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “I thought his energy was good. He competed. He missed some shots that he normally makes. (But) it was everybody. It was everybody.”

Oklahoma City had just 34 points in the second half after scoring 32 in the first quarter.

“I think it started in the second quarter, when they went up by 10 at the half,” Jackson said. “Personally, it felt like they were attacking me. Gregg Popovich himself could have thrown on a jersey.”

San Antonio outscored Oklahoma City by 10 points in both the second and third quarters, allowing both teams to sit their starters for much of the fourth.

“Our shots weren’t falling for us,” Durant said. “We’ve got to stay aggressive and we’ve got to get stops. When we can’t make a shot, we’ve got to play defense, and we didn’t tonight.”

NOTES: San Antonio used its 31st different starting lineup this season, with Bonner making his first start. He averaged 11.3 minutes in 61 regular-season games, but his playing time has been curtailed to 4.8 minutes while appearing in all 16 postseason games. Diaw started in Bonner’s place in the second half.

Spurs rout Thunder to take 3-2 lead in West finals

KDWN

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich stared blankly at a reporter, dumbfounded as he often is when dealing the media.

Is there any way to explain the Jekyll-and-Hyde nature of the Western Conference finals, where the home team has won each game in a blowout?

“You’re serious?” Popovich said. “You really think I can explain that? Good Lord. And they pay you, don’t they?”

Tim Duncan had 22 points and 12 rebounds, Manu Ginobili scored 19 points and San Antonio rolled to a 117-89 victory over Oklahoma City in Game 5 Thursday night, taking a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series to put the Thunder on the brink of elimination.

The latest lopsided loss in the West finals came two days after the Thunder used their superior athleticism to fluster the veteran Spurs in Oklahoma City in Game 4.

“We’ve just got to worry about the next game,” Kevin Durant said. “We’re guaranteed 48 more minutes. It’s been an up-and-down series, but we’ve got to find a way to win it in Game 6. If we want to get to where we want to get to, we’ve got to win in San Antonio, but we’ve got to get to the next game.”

The series resumes Saturday in Oklahoma City.

Durant scored 25 points, but Russell Westbrook had only 21 points and seven assists after finishing with 40 points and 10 assists in Game 4.

“Nothing,” changed defensively, Westbrook said. Yet, he was unable to charge the lane as effectively as he did while putting up 24 shots and reaching the free throw line 14 times on Tuesday.

He shot 6 for 12 from the field and 7 for 9 on free throws while again being guarded primarily by 6-foot-8 forward Kawhi Leonard.

“I think I did OK,” Leonard said. “We all did well as a group defensively, by just keeping a hand up and forcing difficult shots for everyone.”

That added aggression was key to winning, Popovich said before Game 5, and his team responded.

The Spurs had 23 assists, shot 30 free throws and outrebounded the Thunder 48-35. San Antonio also was 13 for 26 on 3-pointers and limited Oklahoma City to four fast-break points after giving up 21 in Game 4.

Leonard and Danny Green each had 14 points, Boris Diaw added 13 and Tony Parker scored 12 for the Spurs, who are a win away from returning to the NBA Finals after losing in seven games to Miami last year.

After losing twice in Oklahoma City by an average of 11 points, San Antonio upped its winning margin in San Antonio to 26.7 points.

Reggie Jackson had 11 points, but Serge Ibaka was held to six points and two rebounds after dominating the interior in Oklahoma City.

“It’s tough,” Ibaka said. “It’s a tough loss for us, and you need to give them a lot of credit. They played their best basketball tonight. They were better than us, they were more aggressive, but this happens sometimes. Now our focus is on the next game.”

The Spurs started Matt Bonner in place of Tiago Splitter to draw Ibaka out of the paint and it worked early. It also helped defensively, as Ibaka attacked Bonner but missed his first five shots on a series of running hooks. Duncan also was able to help, rolling over to block a layup attempt by Ibaka.

“He didn’t have the games that he had the last two games, that’s pretty clear,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “I thought his energy was good. He competed. He missed some shots that he normally makes. (But) it was everybody. It was everybody.”

Oklahoma City had just 34 points in the second half after scoring 32 in the first quarter.

“I think it started in the second quarter, when they went up by 10 at the half,” Jackson said. “Personally, it felt like they were attacking me. Gregg Popovich himself could have thrown on a jersey.”

San Antonio outscored Oklahoma City by 10 points in both the second and third quarters, allowing both teams to sit their starters for much of the fourth.

“Our shots weren’t falling for us,” Durant said. “We’ve got to stay aggressive and we’ve got to get stops. When we can’t make a shot, we’ve got to play defense, and we didn’t tonight.”

NOTES: San Antonio used its 31st different starting lineup this season, with Bonner making his first start. He averaged 11.3 minutes in 61 regular-season games, but his playing time has been curtailed to 4.8 minutes while appearing in all 16 postseason games. Diaw started in Bonner’s place in the second half.

Spurs rout Thunder to take 3-2 lead in West finals

KDWN

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich stared blankly at a reporter, dumbfounded as he often is when dealing the media.

Is there any way to explain the Jekyll-and-Hyde nature of the Western Conference finals, where the home team has won each game in a blowout?

“You’re serious?” Popovich said. “You really think I can explain that? Good Lord. And they pay you, don’t they?”

Tim Duncan had 22 points and 12 rebounds, Manu Ginobili scored 19 points and San Antonio rolled to a 117-89 victory over Oklahoma City in Game 5 Thursday night, taking a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series to put the Thunder on the brink of elimination.

The latest lopsided loss in the West finals came two days after the Thunder used their superior athleticism to fluster the veteran Spurs in Oklahoma City in Game 4.

“We’ve just got to worry about the next game,” Kevin Durant said. “We’re guaranteed 48 more minutes. It’s been an up-and-down series, but we’ve got to find a way to win it in Game 6. If we want to get to where we want to get to, we’ve got to win in San Antonio, but we’ve got to get to the next game.”

The series resumes Saturday in Oklahoma City.

Durant scored 25 points, but Russell Westbrook had only 21 points and seven assists after finishing with 40 points and 10 assists in Game 4.

“Nothing,” changed defensively, Westbrook said. Yet, he was unable to charge the lane as effectively as he did while putting up 24 shots and reaching the free throw line 14 times on Tuesday.

He shot 6 for 12 from the field and 7 for 9 on free throws while again being guarded primarily by 6-foot-8 forward Kawhi Leonard.

“I think I did OK,” Leonard said. “We all did well as a group defensively, by just keeping a hand up and forcing difficult shots for everyone.”

That added aggression was key to winning, Popovich said before Game 5, and his team responded.

The Spurs had 23 assists, shot 30 free throws and outrebounded the Thunder 48-35. San Antonio also was 13 for 26 on 3-pointers and limited Oklahoma City to four fast-break points after giving up 21 in Game 4.

Leonard and Danny Green each had 14 points, Boris Diaw added 13 and Tony Parker scored 12 for the Spurs, who are a win away from returning to the NBA Finals after losing in seven games to Miami last year.

After losing twice in Oklahoma City by an average of 11 points, San Antonio upped its winning margin in San Antonio to 26.7 points.

Reggie Jackson had 11 points, but Serge Ibaka was held to six points and two rebounds after dominating the interior in Oklahoma City.

“It’s tough,” Ibaka said. “It’s a tough loss for us, and you need to give them a lot of credit. They played their best basketball tonight. They were better than us, they were more aggressive, but this happens sometimes. Now our focus is on the next game.”

The Spurs started Matt Bonner in place of Tiago Splitter to draw Ibaka out of the paint and it worked early. It also helped defensively, as Ibaka attacked Bonner but missed his first five shots on a series of running hooks. Duncan also was able to help, rolling over to block a layup attempt by Ibaka.

“He didn’t have the games that he had the last two games, that’s pretty clear,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “I thought his energy was good. He competed. He missed some shots that he normally makes. (But) it was everybody. It was everybody.”

Oklahoma City had just 34 points in the second half after scoring 32 in the first quarter.

“I think it started in the second quarter, when they went up by 10 at the half,” Jackson said. “Personally, it felt like they were attacking me. Gregg Popovich himself could have thrown on a jersey.”

San Antonio outscored Oklahoma City by 10 points in both the second and third quarters, allowing both teams to sit their starters for much of the fourth.

“Our shots weren’t falling for us,” Durant said. “We’ve got to stay aggressive and we’ve got to get stops. When we can’t make a shot, we’ve got to play defense, and we didn’t tonight.”

NOTES: San Antonio used its 31st different starting lineup this season, with Bonner making his first start. He averaged 11.3 minutes in 61 regular-season games, but his playing time has been curtailed to 4.8 minutes while appearing in all 16 postseason games. Diaw started in Bonner’s place in the second half.

Spurs rout Thunder to take 3-2 lead in West finals

KDWN

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Back at home, this blowout went to the San Antonio Spurs.

Now they can clinch their return to the NBA Finals on the road, where they are the ones taking the beatings in these wacky Western Conference finals.

“This is the craziest series I’ve ever been involved in,” veteran Tim Duncan said.

The Spurs took a 3-2 lead in it Thursday night after Duncan had 22 points and 12 rebounds in a 117-89 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Jekyll-and-Hyde series continued between the past two Western Conference champions, as the road team has been thumped in every game of the best-of-seven series.

Game 6 is Saturday in Oklahoma City.

“I have no clue, honestly,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of the disparity. “I think every game, it’s a different animal. It really is. We talk to our team about that all the time. You have no clue what’s going to happen, how a team is going to come out, whether they’re going to be lethargic or hold the ball, get 50/50 balls or don’t get 50/50 balls.”

Kevin Durant scored 25 points, but Russell Westbrook had only 21 points and seven assists after finishing with 40 points and 10 assists in Game 4.

Manu Ginobili scored 19 points, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green each had 14 and Boris Diaw added 13 for the Spurs, who are a win away from returning to the NBA Finals after losing in seven games to Miami last year.

The Spurs returned to the style of play that enabled them to win the series’ first two games by a combined 52 points.

“We gave them everything they wanted,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “They got the dribble drive, they got the 3-point line, and they got to the free-throw line.”

The Spurs were also 13 for 26 on 3-pointers and outrebounded the Thunder 48-35. San Antonio also limited Oklahoma City to four fast-break points after giving up 21 in Game 4.

After losing twice in Oklahoma City by an average of 11 points, San Antonio upped its winning margin in San Antonio to 26.7 points.

Oklahoma City had just 34 points in the second half after scoring 32 in the first quarter.

“Our shots weren’t falling for us,” Durant said. “We’ve got to stay aggressive and we’ve got to get stops. When we can’t make a shot, we’ve got to play defense, and we didn’t tonight.”

San Antonio outscored Oklahoma City by 10 points in both the second and third quarters, allowing both teams to sit their starters for much of the fourth.

Serge Ibaka, who dominated the interior in Oklahoma City, was held to six points and two rebounds.

The Spurs started Matt Bonner in place of Tiago Splitter to draw Ibaka out of the paint and it worked early. It also helped defensively, as Ibaka attacked Bonner but missed his first five shots on a series of running hooks. Duncan was also able to help defensively, rolling over to block a layup attempt by Ibaka.

“He didn’t have the games that he had the last two games, that’s pretty clear,” Brooks said. “I thought his energy was good. He competed. He missed some shots that he normally makes. (But) it was everybody. It was everybody.”

San Antonio’s crowd was raucous from the start, booing Westbrook heavily during pregame introductions and erupting joyously when Green scored the team’s first points on a 3-pointer 1 1/2 minutes into the game

Oklahoma City withstood the early barrage, going on an 11-2 run for its largest lead of the game.

San Antonio kept Westbrook out of the paint early, but that only opened up the lanes for Jackson, who made his first five shots. He had four straight layups and then drained a 3-pointer with Parker closely defending.

When asked if San Antonio had done anything differently to keep him out of the paint, Westbrook said, “nothing.”

Three-point shooting got San Antonio back into the game, as Patty Mills and Green closed the first with consecutive 3s to tie the game at 32-all.

Diaw’s 3 gave San Antonio a 42-37 lead with 6:12left in the first half and resulted in an Oklahoma City timeout.

Ginobili’s 3 gave a 65-52 lead with 6.9 seconds left in the first half.

Ginobili’s third 3 gave San Antonio an 87-70 lead with 3 minutes remaining in the third.

NOTES: San Antonio used its 31st different starting lineup this season, with Bonner making his first start. He averaged 11.3 minutes in 61 regular-season games but his playing time has been curtailed to 4.8 minutes while appearing in all 16 postseason games. Diaw started in Bonner’s place in the second half. . Durant was sent back to the sideline after attempting to substitute with 10:29 remaining in the second quarter. A timekeeper told official Tony Brothers that Durant was not at the table in time to enter prior to an inbounds. “I was there,” Durant said. “That’s (wrong). You know that.” Durant was able to enter about 10 seconds later, however. . Ibaka wore a heating pad on his injured calf when he was not in the game.

Spurs rout Thunder to take 3-2 lead in West finals

KDWN

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Tim Duncan had 22 points and 12 rebounds, Manu Ginobili scored 19 points and the San Antonio Spurs rolled to a 117-89 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night to take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals.

Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green each had 14 points, Boris Diaw added 13 and Tony Parker scored 12 for the Spurs, who are a win away from returning to the NBA Finals after losing in seven games to Miami last year.

Kevin Durant scored 25 points, but Russell Westbrook had only 21 points and seven assists after finishing with 40 points and 10 assists in Game 4.

Game 6 is Saturday in Oklahoma City.

The Jekyll and Hyde series continued between the past two Western Conference champions, as the road team has been thumped in every game of the best-of-seven series.

After losing twice in Oklahoma City by an average of 11 points, San Antonio upped its winning margin in San Antonio to 26.7 points.

“We played so much harder, sharper, smarter, everything we talked about,” Ginobili said. “It was a fun-to-play and fun-to-watch game. So when we play like this it’s a completely different story.”

San Antonio outscored Oklahoma City by 10 points in both the second and third quarters, allowing both teams to sit their starters for much of the fourth.

Serge Ibaka, who dominated the interior in Oklahoma City, was held to six points and two rebounds.

“We have to regroup and come back better in a few days,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.

The Spurs started Matt Bonner in place of Tiago Splitter to draw Ibaka out of the paint and it worked early. It also helped defensively, as Ibaka attacked Bonner but missed his first five shots on a series of running hooks. Duncan was also able to help defensively, rolling over to block a layup attempt by Ibaka.

San Antonio’s crowd was raucous from the start, booing Westbrook heavily during pregame introductions and erupting joyously when Green scored the team’s first points on a 3-pointer 1 1/2 minutes into the game

Oklahoma City withstood the early barrage, going on an 11-2 run for its largest lead of the game.

San Antonio kept Westbrook out of the paint early, but that only opened up the lanes for Jackson, who made his first five shots. He had four straight layups and then drained a 3-pointer with Parker closely defending.

Three-point shooting got San Antonio back into the game, as Patty Mills and Green closed the first with consecutive 3s to tie the game at 32-all.

Diaw’s 3 gave San Antonio a 42-37 lead with 6:12 left in the first half and resulted in an Oklahoma City timeout.

Ginobili’s 3 gave a 65-52 lead with 6.9 seconds left in the first half.

Ginobili’s third 3 gave San Antonio an 87-70 lead with 3 minutes remaining in the third.

NOTES: San Antonio used its 31st different starting lineup this season, with Bonner making his first start. He averaged 11.3 minutes in 61 regular-season games but his playing time has been curtailed to 4.8 minutes while appearing in all 16 postseason games. Diaw started in Bonner’s place in the second half. . Durant was sent back to the sideline after attempting to substitute with 10:29 remaining in the second quarter. A timekeeper told official Tony Brothers that Durant was not at the table in time to enter prior to an inbounds. “I was there,” Durant said. “That’s (wrong). You know that.” Durant was able to enter about 10 seconds later, however. . Ibaka wore a heating pad on his injured calf when he was not in the game.