SAN ANTONIO — Oklahoma City Thunder moved within one win of securing a place in the Western Conference finals after Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined to help the visitors take a 3-2 lead in the series with a 95-91 win Tuesday night.
The ever energetic Russell flirted with a triple-double after he finished with 35 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, while Durant added 23 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Thunder, who can close out the series in Game 6 with a win at home on Thursday.
”I was overthinking the first half, overpassing trying to find ways to get my guys involved, making some bad mistakes,” Westbrook said.
”In the second half I was trying to do a better job of taking care of the basketball, especially with the game on the line.”
Oklahoma City trailed by as many as 13 points in the third quarter, after Danny Green made a 3-pointer to give the home side a 62-49 lead with 7:50 left in the period.
However, Westbrook and Durant began to make big shots to slowly trim the deficit, before the Thunder took a 92-90 lead with 54 seconds remaining with a pair of free throws from Durant.
”We got stops and Russ was a maniac tonight, keeping us in it,” Durant said.
”He dictated how we wanted to play,” he added. ”He was getting to the rim, knocking down the jump shot, knocking down the 3. So he had all levels working tonight.
“Once he does that, he’s too dangerous because they play back on him not wanting him to get to the rim and he’s knocking the jump shot down.”
Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 26 points, six rebounds and five steals, with Danny Green adding 20 points and made 6-for-9 on 3-pointers in the defeat.
LaMarcus Aldridge also had 20 points and nine rebounds, but struggled shooting the ball after going just 6-for-21 from the floor.
San Antonio was losing at home for the second time in this year’s playoffs, after dropping just one game in the regular season.
”I hope we respond a little angry with a chip on our shoulder,” Green said. ”If you want to be a championship team you have to win on the road. Simple as that.”
It was a bad night for Spurs guard Tony Parker, who scored just nine points and was 4-for-12 from the floor.
Parker, a usually very good free throw converter, missed the second of attempts from the charity line late in the game, while failing to connect on a 12-foot jumper late in the contest.