San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder Play Game 4 of Western Conference Finals
2012 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Finals Game #4
#1 San Antonio Spurs at #2 Oklahoma City Thunder
Spurs Lead Best of 7 Series 2-1
Chesapeake Energy Arena – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Saturday, June 2, 2012, 8:35 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: Oklahoma City -3
Current Line: Oklahoma City -3 1/2
Opening Total: 203
Current Total: 202
Opening Money Line: Thunder -170 / Spurs +150
Current Money Line: Thunder -175 / Spurs +155
Thursday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder, coached by Scott Brooks, got back in the Western Conference Finals series with a 102-82 rout of the San Antonio Spurs. The loss snapped a 20 game winning streak for San Antonio including 10-0 in the playoffs. The Spurs, coached by Gregg Popovich (NBA coach of the year) won the first two games of the series in San Antonio. In game one, The Spurs trailed by 9 points going into the fourth quarter but rallied for a 101-98 win. In game 2, the Spurs led by as many as 22 points in the second half. the Thunder pulled to within 6 points midway through the fourth, but San Antonio held on for the 120-111 win.
The Thunder returned home for game 3 facing a must win game in order to avoid an 0-3 hole. The Spurs took a 24-22 lead at the end of the first. However, from that point on, the Thunder dominated. OKC outscored San Antonio 32-17 in the second and never trailed again. They stretched the lead to 23 with about 9 minutes left. The game was already decided by that point, as Tony Parker and Tim Duncan didn’t even play in the fourth. The final ended up being 102-82.
As a team, the Sours shot 39.5% from the field, including 11-26 from 3 point range. They made 11 of 15 free throws. San Antonio had 41 rebounds, 18 assists, and 21 turnovers. They had 7 fast break points, and 24 points in the paint. In the first two games of the series, The Spurs averaged 46 points in the paint.
Spurs point guard Parker had 16 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists. He was 6-12 from the field, including 2-4 from 3 point range. He made both of his free throw attempts. Shooting guard Stephen Jackson also scored 16 points on 6-7 shooting. He made 4 of his 5 three point attempts off the bench. Tim Duncan scored 11 points, with 2 rebounds, an assist, and 5 blocks. He was 5-15 shooting, and made 1 of 2 free throws. Forward DeJuan Blair was the only other Spur in double digit scoring with 10 points. He also added 6 rebounds. Manu Ginobli had 8 points and 6 rebounds. He was 1-5 from the field, and 5-5 from the free throw line. Gary Neal had 7 points, and 5 assists, but he was 3-11 shooting. The rest of the Spurs scored 14 total points, and Popovich played everyone on the roster in the rout.
The Thunder shot 45.5% from the field but were just 6-22 from 3 point range. OKC made 16 of 17 free throws. The Thunder had 44 rebounds, 23 assists, and just 7 turnovers. OKC had 18 fast break points and 44 points in the paint.
Kevin Durant led all scorers with 22 points on 8-17 shooting. He was 0-4 from 3 point range, but made all 6 of his free throws. He also added 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and a steal. Shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha scored a playoff career high 19 points on 7-16 shooting, including 4-10 on 3 pointers. He made his only free throw. He also added 6 rebounds, 6 assists, a steal, and a block. He also held Parker in check on defense, after the point guard had torched the Thunder in game 2. James Harden had 15 points off the bench, along with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. He was 5-10 from the field, including 1-2 from 3 point range. He made all 4 of his free throws. Serge Ibaka scored 14 points, along with 3 rebounds, 3 blocks, an assist, and a steal. He was 5-9 from the field. Russell Westbrook scored only 10 points on 5-15 shooting. He didn’t go to the free throw line once. He contributed in other ways with 7 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks.
Oklahoma City is 7-4-1 ATS in the playoffs, and the total is 8-4. San Antonio is 7-4 ATS and the total is 3-8 this post-season. The Spurs are 8-4 ATS in the last 9 against the Thunder, and 5-2 in Oklahoma City. The over is 10-4-1 in the last 15 games between the teams, including 5-1-1 in Oklahoma City.
The Spurs are 4-0 ATS in Saturday games, 8-1 after a straight up loss, 21-5-1 on one day rest, 12-3-1 after a loss by 10 points or more, 7-2-2 after allowing 100 points or more, 40-13-4 overall, 15-5-1 after failing to cover, 11-4 against teams with winning records, 16-6-1 in road games against teams with winning home records, 18-8-3 in road games, 9-4 as a road underdog, 33-16-2 against Western Conference teams, 8-20 as a playoff underdog, 1-4 in conference games, as a road underdog of 4.5 points or less, and 2-12 as a playoff underdog of 4.5 points or less.
The Thunder are 5-1 ATS as a favorite, as a playoff favorite, and after scoring 100 points or more, 5-1-1 after a straight up win, 4-1 as a favorite of 4.5 points or less, and against Southwest Division teams, 4-1-1 against teams with winning records, overall, and against Western Conference teams, 8-3 as a playoff favorite of 4.5 points or less, and 3-9 at home against teams with winning road records.
Before Thursday night, the Spurs hadn’t lost since April 11. Oklahoma City did what they had to do in winning game 3, but it really means nothing if they don’t take care of business in game 4. A loss will put them down 3-1 and on the brink of elimination with game 5 in San Antonio Monday night. The Thunder would prefer to run and score fast break points. However, they found out they can’t beat the Spurs like that in the first 2 games of the series. Oklahoma City must rely on passing to win, even though they were last in assists during the regular season. But it really comes down to defense. If the Thunder can shut down Parker, Duncan, and Ginobli, then they have a chance in the series. The Spurs will play much harder in game 4 after getting stomped in game 3. Oklahoma City wins a close game 4, to tie up the series.
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