NBA Western Conference Finals Game Five: Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs

2014 NBA Playoffs
Western Conference Finals – Game #5
#2 Oklahoma City Thunder at #1 San Antonio Spurs
AT&T Center – San Antonio, Texas
Thursday, May 29, 2014, 9:05 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: San Antonio -4 1/2
Current Line: San Antonio -4 (-115)
Opening Total: 206
Current Total: 206
Opening Money Line: Spurs -195 / Thunder +165
Current Money Line: Spurs -190 / Thunder +160

The Spurs and Thunder are tied 2-2 in the Western Conference Finals. Game five is Thursday night in San Antonio.
The Spurs and Thunder are tied 2-2 in the Western Conference Finals. Game five is Thursday night in San Antonio.

The home team has won every game in the Western Conference Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder with ease. Now it becomes a best of three series with game five in San Antonio Thursday night.

San Antonio won game one 122-105 and then crushed Oklahoma City 112-77 in game two. The Thunder played both of those two games without forward Serge Ibaka who injured his calf in the last round against the Los Angeles Clippers. Ibaka was supposed to be out for the rest of the playoffs, but he returned and started both games in Oklahoma City. The Thunder won game three 106-97 but led by 20 with just over 3 minutes to go in the game. OKC tied the series with a 105-92 victory in game four Tuesday night.

San Antonio opened game four on an 8-0 run. However, Oklahoma City would take a 26-20 lead by the end of  the first quarter. The Thunder would expand the lead to 58-43 by halftime. Midway through the third, Oklahoma City led by as many as 27 points. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich pulled his starters and they would not play again for the rest of the game. The second unit for the Spurs played with a lot of energy and closed the third on an 18-7 run to make it 83-67 Thunder going into the fourth. The Spurs would get no closer than 12 points in the fourth as the Thunder rolled to the 13 point victory.

The Spurs shot under 40% for the second straight game. Without Ibaka protecting the rim in the first two games, San Antonio scored 120 combined points in the paint in those games. Oklahoma City outscored the Spurs in the paint in both games in OKC. The Thunder had 21 fast break points to zero for the Spurs.

Russell Westbrook had a monster game in game four with 40 points, 10 assists, 5 steals and 5 rebounds. He became only the second player in NBA history along with Michael Jordan to record a 40-10-5-5 game. Kevin Durant scored 31 points and had 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Ibaka scored 9 points and added 8 rebounds and 3 blocks for OKC. Tony Parker scored 14 points for the Spurs as did Boris Diaw. Diaw also had 10 rebounds. Patty Mills added 11 points off the bench. Kawhi Leonard scored 10 points for San Antonio.

Oklahoma City is coached by Scott Brooks. OKC is 51-44-3 ATS and the total is 50-48 this season.

Oklahoma City is outscoring teams 105-101 in the playoffs. The Thunder are shooting 45.3% from the field and 33.2% from 3 point range. Oklahoma City is making 83.5% from the free throw line. Opponents are shooting 43.3% from the field and 33.2% from 3 point range. Oklahoma City averages 46.9 rebounds per game and opponents average 40.7 per game. OKC averages 19.4 assists, 15.5 turnovers, 5.9 steals and 6.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 22.8 assists, 10.9 turnovers, 8.8 steals and 2.9 blocks per game.

Forward Kevin Durant is the first player to win MVP and the scoring title in the same season since Allen Iverson in 2001. In the playoffs he is averaging 31.4 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.4 blocks per game. Point guard Russell Westbrook averages 26.6 points, 8 rebounds, 8.4 assists and 1.7 steals per game. No player has averaged 25 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists for the playoffs since Oscar Robertson. Forward Serge Ibaka averages 12.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1 assist and 2.7 blocks per game.  Guard Reggie Jackson averages 10.7 points, 4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Jackson is questionable after rolling his ankle in game four Tuesday night. He did return to that game though. Forward Caron Butler, acquired at the trade deadline from the Milwaukee Bucks, averages 6.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1 assist and per game. Jeremy Lamb, Thabo Sefolosha, Derek Fisher, Nick Collison, Perry Jones, Kendrick Perkins, and Steven Adams will also get significant minutes in the rotation.

San Antonio is coached by Gregg Popovich, who won his third NBA coach of the year award this season. San Antonio is 52-46 ATS and the total is 53-42-1 this season.

San Antonio is outscoring teams 106-99 in the playoffs. The Spurs are shooting 49.3% from the field and 38.8% from 3 point range. San Antonio makes 74.7% from the line. Opponents are shooting 43.7% from the field and 35.4% from 3 point range. San Antonio is averaging 42.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 42.9 per game. The Spurs average 20.6 assists, 11.9 turnovers, 8.3 steals and 3.5 blocks per game. Opponents average 18 assists, 13.4 turnovers, 5.6 steals and 3.3 blocks per game.

Point guard Tony Parker averages 19.3 points, 4.9 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game. Parker is probable with a hamstring injury. Forward Tim Duncan averages 15.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.7 blocks per game. Forward Kawhi Leonard averages 14 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Guard Manu Ginobili averages 13.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.8 steal per game. Marco Belinelli, Patty Mills, Boris Diaw, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter, Cory Joseph, Jeff Ayres, and Matt Bonner will also get significant minutes.

OKC is 5-1 ATS after the opponent allows 100 points or more in the previous game, 4-1 after a straight up win, 6-2 in conference finals games, 5-2 on one day rest and after scoring 100 points or more in the previous game. The Thunder are 12-3-1 ATS in the last 16 against the Spurs. The under is 4-1 in the series recently.

San Antonio is 6-0 ATS at home and against teams with winning road records, 6-2 on one day rest, 7-3 against teams with winning records, overall, and against Western Conference teams, 25-11 after a straight up loss by 10 points or more, 2-5 after a straight up loss, 3-8 after allowing 100 points or more, and 2-8 after failing to cover. The home team and favorite are both 15-5-1 ATS in this series recently.

Oklahoma City is 6-0 this season against San Antonio with Ibaka in the line-up, and 0 and 2 without him. The Thunder are much better on defense with Ibaka and he is a reliable third scorer behind Durant and Westbrook. San Antonio fans are having flashbacks of the 2012 Western Conference Finals series when this same Thunder team lost the first two games on the road before winning 4 straight to take the series. Remarkably, San Antonio has played in 10 straight blowouts dating back to their game 7 win against the Dallas Mavericks. I think that streak ends as the Thunder take a close game on the road.

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