NBA: Thunder Win Game Four, tie Series with Spurs at 2-2
Russell Westbrook is often looked upon as the scapegoat for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s failures, but on Tuesday night he was the key to the Thunder’s 105-92 victory over the San Antonio Spurs as the Thunder also tied up the series 2-2.
Westbrook had 40 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, and five steals in the contest in which he was paramount to the Thunder’s success.
San Antonio jumped out to an 8-0 lead, which later became a 12-4 lead before Westbrook began to power the Thunder back. Westbrook scored 11 of the Thunder’s 26 points in the first quarter, while assisting on three made field goals as well to give Oklahoma City a 26-20 lead after 12 minutes.
Westbrook looked to include his teammates in the offense more in the second quarter as he only scored six points, but dished out six assists in the process to give the Thunder a 58-43 lead heading into the locker room. He turned back to his scoring ways in the third quarter however, dropping a 13-point spot on the Spurs in the frame while pushing the lead to 16, 83-67.
Westbrook contributed with his third double-digit quarter of the game, scoring 10 points in the final quarter to bring his total on the night up to 40 points. He also made all four free throws in the quarter, to bring his total to 14-14 on free throws in the game.
Westbrook became the first player since Michael Jordan in 1989 to finish with 40 points, 10 assists, and five steals in a playoff game. He even outscored the Spurs starting unit as a whole, 40-39.
Kevin Durant wasn’t too shabby either, finishing with 31 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Serge Ibaka, who returned from a calf injury in game three, scored nine points and grabbed eight boards. The Thunder outscored the Spurs 21-0 in fast break points.
Boris Diaw finished with a double-double for San Antonio with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Tony Parker tied Diaw for the team lead with 14 points as well and Corey Joseph scored 11 points off the bench for the Spurs.
A bright spot for San Antonio is the limited minutes of Parker (26), Tim Duncan (25), Kawhi Leonard (25), and Manu Ginobili (11) keeping their key players healthy and fresh heading into the final three potential games of the Western Conference Finals.
The series will return to San Antonio, Texas on Thursday night for game five of this best-of-seven series where both teams will look to grab their third win of the series and grab the upper hand.