Spurs 112 – Thunder 107 OT (San Antonio wins 4-2)
What a wonderful feeling it is when a wish of yours comes true.
As many NBA fans hoped, Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals went down to the wire, and even overtime. Happy tears. Finally! If last night’s 17 lead changes and 14 ties took us to another close Game 7, that would’ve been ideal. But it is what it is, and I’m thankful.
The San Antonio Spurs head to the NBA Finals for the sixth time since Pop became coach. When Ernie asked Manu Ginobili what he had to say about his coach after the Game 6 win, he responded in a very Pop-esque fashion with an eh, “He’s alright.” This was Pop’s priceless reaction:
Ginobili had 15 points on the night and was one of five Spurs who recorded double digits. He was an important part of his bench’s 51-5 onslaught of Oklahoma City’s. Boris Diaw was the other main man off the bench, scoring 26 points on 8-14 shooting.
The bench had to step up for the Spurs, as they were without their star point guard, Tony Parker, for all of the second half. With a pending trip to the Finals (and perhaps a WCF Game 7), it was important to not irk TP9’s ankle any more than necessary.
Down seven at the half, the Spurs dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Thunder 37-20 on 53.8 percent shooting. The fourth quarter saw powerful drives by Russell Westbrook, who led all scorers with 34 points, as well as seemingly smart defensive plays, like a block from Serge Ibaka (which was actually a goaltend).
With less than 40 seconds in regulation remaining, fans witnessed a quick Kevin Durant drive for two, a successful Ginobili shot from behind the arc, a KD slip and turnover, one free throw out of two from Ginobili, two good ones from Russ on the other end, and a missed jumper from Manu. Phew. A lot happens in 40 seconds of a basketball game.
In OT, Kawhi Leonard stripped the ball from Russ’s fingertips as he drove in the lane, which led to Tim Duncan being classy on the baseline, as he tends to do. Both Mr. Timmy D. (19 points, 15 rebounds) and Sugar K. Leonard (17 points, 11 rebounds) finished with double-doubles.
At the end, Durant’s three bounced off the rim. Game over.
Congratulations to the Oklahoma City Thunder for one helluva season, and congratulations to the San Antonio Spurs for obvious reasons. Soon we’ll be seeing the modified courts with the golden trophies and “The Finals” written in script gracing the hardwood. It’s almost time.
Finals time. Rematch time. Best time. Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals between the Spurs and Miami Heat is set to tip off Thursday night. After last year’s intense series, the expectations are sky high.
You have about five days to prepare.