Thunder Theft: OKC Steals Game 5 In San Antonio to Take 3-2 Series Lead


Tuesday, May 10th 2016, 11:48 pm
By: Brett Coppenbarger


In arguably its most impressive victory since the 2012 postseason, the Thunder was able to go to San Antonio and squeak out a 95-91 win to take a 3-2 series lead in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Related: Thunder Social Scene 

After trailing by 13 points with 7:50 left in the third quarter, OKC was able to make the necessary adjustments down the stretch and ultimately come away with a four point victory in front of a sellout crowd in the AT&T Center.

While Kevin Durant was the star in the Thunder’s Game 4 win, Russell Westbrook played the role of closer in Game 5. Westbrook was tremendous throughout the entire game, and nearly tallied a triple-double with 35 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.

San Antonio came out of the gates a bit sluggish, but thanks to 13 first-half turnovers by OKC, the Spurs were able to close the first half on an 8-to-0 run as they took a five point lead into halftime. While the end of the second quarter wasn’t ideal for the Thunder, things didn’t get much better at the beginning of the second half. With four of the five Spurs’ starters scoring, Danny Green capped off a 14-to-4 San Antonio run with a nothing but net 3-pointer that made it look like the Spurs would be running away with the game.

Not so fast.

Led by the tenacity by Westbrook, the Thunder was able to regroup before things got ugly. The OKC point guard was able to get OKC out of the red by knocking down a pair of free throws, then proceeded to cut into the Spurs’ lead with assists Durant, Steven Adams and Enes Kanter that brought OKC within eight points.

With Westbrook getting things rolling, Durant took on the role of facilitator towards the end of the third. The former league MVP assisted a Westbrook 3-pointer, splashed one of his signature jumpers, all before dishing a laser pass to Randy Foye for a clutch 3-pointer that brought the Thunder within three points right before the end of the frame.

In the fourth quarter it looked like the Spurs would once again pull away after Kawhi Leonard stole a Durant pass and took it coast-to-coast for the slam to put San Antonio up six points with four minutes left, but for the second straight game, OKC was able to save its best effort for the final stretch.  

Westbrook drained a long jumper, and then after the Spurs thought they’d been called for a shot-clock violation on the other end, Westbrook sprinted past the snoozing defense for a layup that brought OKC within two points. Feeling it a bit, Westbrook pulled up for a miss at the top of the key on the next possession, but was able to corral his own long miss before zipping a pass to Kanter for an easy layup to tie the game.

After blocking Tim Duncan’s shot on the other end, Kanter was able to clean up for OKC once again after tipping in a Durant miss to put the Thunder up by two points.

With nine seconds left in the game, the Thunder led by one point and had possession of the ball. OKC needed to get the ball inbounds and get fouled by the Spurs to hopefully extend its lead to three points with free throws and hope for the best.

But apparently Westbrook had other plans.

Instead of waiting to absorb a foul, Westbrook received the inbounds pass on the baseline, where he turned his head and elevated to the rim, drew a foul from LaMarcus Aldridge, and rolled the ball in the basket for an epic and-1 layup. Westbrook roared to the San Antonio crowd, and then sealed the game with a free throw that put OKC up four points with six seconds left.

Along with Westbrook and Durant, Adams also scored in double digits with 12 points and 11 rebounds while Enes Kanter added eight points and 13 rebounds off the bench. Waiters was also a force off the bench with nine points.

Leonard led the Spurs with 26 points while Aldridge and Green each scored 20 points.

The series will move back to Oklahoma City for Game 6 on Thursday at 7 p.m. 

San Antonio came out of the gates a bit sluggish, but thanks to 13 first-half turnovers by OKC, the Spurs were able to close the first half on an 8-to-0 run as they took a five point lead into halftime. While the end of the second quarter wasn’t ideal for the Thunder, things didn’t get much better at the beginning of the second half. With four of the five Spurs’ starters scoring, Danny Green capped off a 14-to-4 San Antonio run with a nothing but net 3-pointer that made it look like the Spurs would be running away with the game.

Not so fast.

Led by the tenacity by Westbrook, the Thunder was able to regroup before things got ugly. The OKC point guard was able to get OKC out of the red by knocking down a pair of free throws, then proceeded to cut into the Spurs’ lead with assists Durant, Steven Adams and Enes Kanter that brought OKC within eight points.

#Thunder made it hard on themselves. Shoulda led 12-15 pts early & not needed fanatical effort to get 1 of biggest Ws in OKC history. @NEWS9

— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) May 11, 2016

With Westbrook getting things rolling, Durant took on the role of facilitator towards the end of the third. The former league MVP assisted a Westbrook 3-pointer, splashed one of his signature jumpers, all before dishing a laser pass to Randy Foye for a clutch 3-pointer that brought the Thunder within three points right before the end of the frame.

In the fourth quarter it looked like the Spurs would once again pull away after Kawhi Leonard stole a Durant pass and took it coast-to-coast for the slam to put San Antonio up six points with four minutes left, but for the second straight game, OKC was able to save its best effort for the final stretch.  

Westbrook drained a long jumper, and then after the Spurs thought they’d been called for a shot-clock violation on the other end, Westbrook sprinted past the snoozing defense for a layup that brought OKC within two points. Feeling it a bit, Westbrook pulled up for a miss at the top of the key on the next possession, but was able to corral his own long miss before zipping a pass to Kanter for an easy layup to tie the game.

After blocking Tim Duncan’s shot on the other end, Kanter was able to clean up for OKC once again after tipping in a Durant miss to put the Thunder up by two points.

With nine seconds left in the game, the Thunder led by one point and had possession of the ball. OKC needed to get the ball inbounds and get fouled by the Spurs to hopefully extend its lead to three points with free throws and hope for the best.

But apparently Westbrook had other plans.

Instead of waiting to absorb a foul, Westbrook received the inbounds pass on the baseline, where he turned his head and elevated to the rim, drew a foul from LaMarcus Aldridge, and rolled the ball in the basket for an epic and-1 layup. Westbrook roared to the San Antonio crowd, and then sealed the game with a free throw that put OKC up four points with six seconds left.

What a play by Russ!!!!!!! #News9Thunder

— Steve McGehee (@SteveMcGehee) May 11, 2016

Russell Westbrook (35 Pts, 9 Ast) & Kevin Durant (23 Pts, 5 Ast) scored or assisted on 80 of Thunder's 95 points. pic.twitter.com/XYz4yPBjwi

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 11, 2016

Along with Westbrook and Durant, Adams also scored in double digits with 12 points and 11 rebounds while Enes Kanter added eight points and 13 rebounds off the bench. Waiters was also a force off the bench with nine points.

Leonard led the Spurs with 26 points while Aldridge and Green each scored 20 points.

The series will move back to Oklahoma City for Game 6 on Thursday at 7 p.m. 

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In arguably its most impressive victory since the 2012 postseason, the Thunder was able to go to San Antonio and squeak out a 95-91 win to take a 3-2 series lead in the Western Conference Semifinals. 

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