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San Antonio Spurs give up series edge as Thunder win, 111-97

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Tony Parker rejects being excluded from any Spurs Big Three but the Spurs were outplayed down the stretch and the series is now best of three.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

It started out well enough for the Spurs with the Thunder struggling to score with Russell Westbrook off the floor early in the game. Westbrook made a layup with two and a half minutes left in the first quarter to make it 18-15, Spurs, and proceeded to bark at the official and picked up a technical. With the Thunder's engine sitting, the Spurs second unit opened up a sizable lead on OKC, creating turnovers and finishing the quarter on a 9-2 run.

David West in particular had a nice stretch, sandwiching a Manu Ginobili bucket off a turnover with a couple of jumpers and stopping a Andre Roberson attempt dead with a strip.

The Spurs extended their lead to 11 at 31-20 two minutes into the second quarter and looked ready to blow the game open but a 10-0 run from the Thunder that lasted nearly four minutes tied the contest at 40.

The Spurs weathered the Thunder run and finished the quarter in style,holding OKC to just five points in the last four minutes of the quarter and finishing with a 9-0 run over the last 90 seconds to take a 53-45 lead into the break.

For the second game in a row, Kawhi Leonard (15), LaMarcus Aldridge (13) and Tony Parker (11) led the team's offense, combining for 39 of the team's 53.

Things didn't change in the the third quarter as those three scored the first 16 points for the Spurs in the quarter, which isn't ideal with the Thunder, led by Kevin Durant, putting up 24 to the Spurs first 18. The Spurs gave up 32 in the quarter, a series scoring high for any quarter for OKC, but got a little help from Boris Diaw and Patty Mills to keep pace and the good guys took a 81-77 lead into the deciding period.

Tony Parker continued his resurgent play, finishing with a team-high 22, but Kawhi and LaMarcus dried up in the fourth and the Thunder used a dominating closing stretch to even the series at two apiece. Kevin Durant was magnificent for OKC and finished with 41 points on 25 shots.

Durant was simply on fire down the stretch, could miss nothing and reminded everyone why he is a scoring champion. The Spurs were still in it at the end and had some chances, a couple of missed threes from Kawhi, but they fell short and everything went OKC's way.

Quick Notes:

  • Tim Duncan failed to score in a postseason game for the first time in his illustrious career. I seriously never thought I'd see that.
  • The Spurs finished with just 12 assists. That's also how many turnovers they had. Not good.
  • The Thunder did a nice job keeping the Spurs from shooting from deep, and when the Spurs did attempt a three it mostly didn't go in. San Antonio missed 10 of their 12 attempts.
  • Steven Adams was great for the Thunder again, finishing with a game-high +21 with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Tweet of the Night:

I've never seen anyone do this.

Up Next:

The Spurs return to San Antonio for a day off before Tuesday's pivotal game five.