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Spurs take 3-2 series lead with blowout Game 5 win over Thunder

May 29, 2014, 11:58 PM EDT

Manu Ginobili, Kevin Durant Manu Ginobili, Kevin Durant

The story of the first two games of the Western Conference Finals was the precision of the Spurs, and for the next two, it was the return of Serge Ibaka and the athleticism of the Thunder becoming a deadly combination.

In the pivotal Game 5, San Antonio found its offensive execution once again, and by running away with a 117-89 victory, took a 3-2 lead in a series that feels destined to go the full seven games.

In the early going, it appeared as though the Thunder would continue to go about their business the way they had at home, getting out to a seven-point lead with just under three minutes remaining in the first period by scoring seemingly at will on almost every possession. Russell Westbrook was active as he was in his 40-point performance in Game 4, OKC was getting whatever they wanted at the rim thanks to Matt Bonner replacing Tiago Splitter in the San Antonio starting lineup, and the Spurs had yet to find their way.

But after taking that first punch, San Antonio began to roll in the way that they would for the rest of the night. Three-pointers from Manu Ginobili, Danny Green and Patty Mills all splashed home, and all of a sudden the game was tied at 32 apiece by the time the quarter came to its conclusion.

It was a sign of things to come, as San Antonio couldn’t be stopped offensively the rest of the way. The spacing was a bit better and the ball movement was much crisper than it had been on the road, and every player on the roster seemed to be able to knock down shots when the ball landed in his hands.

Ginobili turned in a masterful performance with 19 points on just nine shots, to go along with four rebounds and six assists in just 21 minutes off the bench. Tony Parker got going a bit in the second quarter, and helped push the lead to double digits. And Diaw played great on both ends of the floor, especially during a sequence that saw him reject a dunk attempt from Kevin Durant at the rim, before hustling down the floor to make a key pass to the corner for a three from Green on the ensuing possession.

Ibaka’s impact was minimized, thanks to the Spurs abandoning their insistence on going inside on most possessions, and instead moving the ball and using smart decisions to take the best available shot. Three-pointers were falling at a 50 percent clip due to how open they were, and overall the Spurs finished the night shooting better than 51 percent. Ibaka finished with just six points and two rebounds in over 27 minutes of action.

The Spurs delivered a sustained punishment that resulted in a knockout early in the fourth quarter, when Scott Brooks conceded by having his starters on the bench a little more than three minutes in. It was important for San Antonio to win by a large margin after the way the team dropped the previous two, in order to regain a bit of confidence while putting some doubt into the minds of a Thunder team that was beginning to believe in its dominance at the same time.

But most would expect Oklahoma City to return the favor when the series shifts back there for Game 6.

  1. goldmember21 - May 30, 2014 at 12:13 AM


  2. antistratfordian - May 30, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    OKC is going to have a tough time winning Game 7 in San Antonio…

    Heat-Spurs Finals. Heat in 6.

    • kb2408 - May 30, 2014 at 12:27 AM

      The Spurs are not the offensively challenged, mentally fragile Pacers. Nor are they Charlotte (without a healthy Jefferson) or Brooklyn (minus Lopez). Any “honest” Heat fan knows they were done in 6 games last Finals. But I digress. The Spurs have been the best team in the league the entire season. They will beat Miami in 5 or 6 games, and I can not wait. It will be interesting to hear your excuses “when” it happens.

      • nfl4days - May 30, 2014 at 12:32 AM

        Lmao, I’ve never seen someone be such a blatant hater. You’ll gone all week when the heat win but all of a sudden come back when the heat lose.

        After the game one loss
        “I initially said Indy in 7, I’m changing that to 6. The Pacers have been mocked, ridiculed and buried for dead for a month now by all the so called experts. As a result this team has a huge chip on their shoulders. They have wanted Miami since last season. The Heat have no answer for Hibbert or West”

        Shut the hell up already.

      • antistratfordian - May 30, 2014 at 12:36 AM

        The Spurs are mentally fragile in their own way. And they are overly reliant on the three ball.

        I think that series will play out much like the Heat-Pacers series. They split the first two in SA, Heat win both in MIA, Spurs win Game 5, Heat win Game 6.

        The Spurs are a good team, but they have a major problem – LeBron is better this year than he was last year.

      • ibleedaquaorange - May 30, 2014 at 12:44 AM

        I agree with Anti re: Heat in 6.

        Reasoning: 1.) Wade is healthy this year. He was bad in most of those Finals games. Dude got by on pure heart when it mattered.

        2.) We will not see a reprise of Green/Neal (obviously Green/Belinelli this year) almost single-handedly deciding games with contested 3s. Green was a FINALS MVP favorite for god’s sake.

        3.) Heat would quite potentially be the underdog, a role I think suits them well when the need for fuel/motivation is at its highest, being in 4 straight Finals.

      • the1nonlyk - May 30, 2014 at 1:01 AM

        i only agree with kb2408 the heat WILL lose in the finals to the spurs this year!! the heat may be different but not enough to best this even better spurs team #driveforfive

      • fanofthegame79 - May 30, 2014 at 8:12 AM

        Just as I can’t wait to hear you eat crow when the Heat beat the Spurs in 6. I get sick of the talk that “the Spurs shoudl have won last year” or “the Spurs beat the Heat in 6…” – if that were the case, and if the Spurs were really that much better than the Heat, then the Spurs would have won in game 7. But it didn’t happen, and you’re bitter.

    • nfl4days - May 30, 2014 at 1:04 AM

      I’d have to see how the heat play in San Antonio to make a call either way. Wouldnt be surprised if the spurs took it all though.

      • antistratfordian - May 30, 2014 at 2:09 AM

        Ok, but I don’t have to see how the Heat play in San Antonio. I know how they will play in San Antonio. In general, they are a very sturdy road team – a split in the first two games would surprise no one. I’m not as confident about San Antonio in Miami this year.

  3. iangas33 - May 30, 2014 at 12:19 AM

    Hahaha this is what the western conference produces? Two teams that have each gotten blown out in each of their losses?
    Just sounds like inconsistency and weakness

    • kb2408 - May 30, 2014 at 12:31 AM

      Last I checked, there has only been one competitive game in the JV league, gm 5. So, I’m not sure what you’re talking about. I sure hope the Spurs go ahead and end this in 6, I’m looking forward to all the bandwagon Heat “fans” going away.

      • innovativethinking87 - May 30, 2014 at 12:44 AM

        “Lmao, I’ve never seen someone be such a blatant hater. You’ll gone all week when the heat win but all of a sudden come back when the heat lose.
        After the game one loss
        “I initially said Indy in 7, I’m changing that to 6. The Pacers have been mocked, ridiculed and buried for dead for a month now by all the so called experts. As a result this team has a huge chip on their shoulders. They have wanted Miami since last season. The Heat have no answer for Hibbert or West”
        Shut the hell up already.”

        He Ethered you right here lol

      • bhunter1995 - May 30, 2014 at 2:11 AM

        @innovativethinking87 thumbs up for the Stillmatic album reference

  4. Great Caesar's Ghost - May 30, 2014 at 12:36 AM

    Felt the lightning….waited on the Thunder….

  5. golfrangeman - May 30, 2014 at 12:38 AM

    @kb2408 first of all you picked the pacers so why wouldn’t they be playing in the finals? Second you picked Brooklyn so why is Miami still playing? Third your picking SA. Thank you! You just confirmed another championship for the heat and your buddy LBJ.
    You are literally always wrong..what a joke..go stick your head in a hole moron.

  6. the1nonlyk - May 30, 2014 at 1:06 AM

    love to watch my favorite team spurs play! mmhhh all my spurs played excellent gi boris td tp green sugar k paddy n im lovin it. spurs vs heat rematch comin soon. go spurs go!!!!

  7. 32magicman - May 30, 2014 at 1:08 AM

    Wondering if antistratfordian will still be a Miami fan if Lebron leaves via free agency? I’m sure he will respond that it will never happen but thats not the question I’m asking. Would he change allegiances to continue riding Lebron’s jock? I think the Lakers have a number 6 jersey available…..

    • nfl4days - May 30, 2014 at 1:13 AM

      As if the Lakers wont lose more than a few fans when kobe packs it up in a couple years. Only time laker fans show up nowadays it to talk about the heat. Who’s on the Lakers roster again?

  8. realfootballfan - May 30, 2014 at 1:30 AM

    This is an awful series. I thought it would be better games than this.

  9. ajw21 - May 30, 2014 at 1:33 AM

    Spurs put Thundet away in 6. Spurs vs Heat, Spurs in 7. Anti: based on ur prediction if the Heat/Spurs play in the finals I think you forgot finals format is 2-3-2, I don’t see Heat winning 2 of 3 in San Antoino.
    Go Spurs!

    • realfootballfan - May 30, 2014 at 1:47 AM

      They changed it finally this year. It’s 2/2/1/1/1 after all of those outdated years of the 2/3/2 format.

      • syrinx35 - May 30, 2014 at 3:38 AM

        Good, I hate 2-3-2.

  10. realfootballfan - May 30, 2014 at 1:45 AM

    Heat vs. Spurs is a 7 game toss up series that either could win in 6. I wouldn’t be so definitive either way because both have strengths and weaknesses. The Heat clearly relish the underdog role, and the Spurs are a machine as far as execution goes. Heat at their peak efficiency is still the better team because Waide and James are better than anyone on the Spurs at this respective points in their careers. I initially thought the Heat automatically lose to them just because 4 straight Finals trips is alot of extra games that should catch up to them, but I am thinking they’re going to be just as formidable as they’ve been the last few years. That game last night they played showed they’ve really come a long way since year one. Even though they routinely came back in games like that in year one, they actually had a chance to win that one last night and simply didn’t want to play for overtime (they got a pretty good look on a well-executed play) imo whereas in year one, there was alot of distrust between the stars in crunch times that led to losses in close games like that.

    They have all the markings of all the great champions who refuse to lose in a 7 game series, so it will take an even bigger effort to take it from them than even last year as they’ve grown more mature in the role of grizzled veteran champion. The Spurs are the one team that could do it, but I’ll believe it when I see it now.

  11. tomshoe - May 30, 2014 at 2:14 AM

    Today was a shining example of what happens when you pit a group of athletes against a basketball team.

  12. syrinx35 - May 30, 2014 at 3:39 AM

    Excellent! It’s always fun to watch OKC get crushed.

  13. jzone954 - May 30, 2014 at 5:13 AM

    Kb24. You do know that Ray Allen’s 3 in game 6 only tied the game to send it into overtime in which the spurs lost , and to force a game 7… which the spurs lost. As far as your predictions I think they speak for themselves to be honest. If the spurs win, so be it they deserve it, and if Miami win then that’s 3 straight. How are you gonna sit there behind your computer , only showing yourself and commenting when Miami looses lol, and act like MIAMI DIDNT BEAT THE SPURS LAST YEAR?! Hello! I’m now more then convinced that you just for some odd reason hate the Miami heat and Lebron James which I think is complete hypocrisy coming from a lakers fan… Hating is something females do to each other over what they are wearing. Not men…

    • realfootballfan - May 30, 2014 at 10:54 AM

      Yea, him being an apparent Laker fan, he should know about near misses as that Laker team that was taken to the wire by the Kings needed some pretty big heroics from Robert Horry at the end of a game that they were about to lose to pull it out at the end. I just see him as simply trolling.

  14. newyorkball82 - May 30, 2014 at 7:30 AM

    Heat fans are getting nervous…

  15. jzone954 - May 30, 2014 at 7:57 AM

    Knick fans are ge…. Nevermind

  16. bucrightoff - May 30, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    It’d be nice if these two teams could both have their best game on the same day. What a game that would be.

    • realfootballfan - May 30, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      That’s what I meant earlier by the observation of how bad this series has been. I want to see these teams give each other their best shot in the same game instead of all of these lopsided affairs.

  17. newyorkball82 - May 30, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    Case in point. All it takes is a few comments from “heat haters” and they’re already on the defensive. Time will tell. Still gotta win one more game to even be back. I’m sure Lebron will score 1000 tonight so in sure you’ll be fine.

  18. aboogy123456 - May 30, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    What does this article have to do with the Heat? Last night’s game, despite the blowout score, was actually an awesome game to watch. Both teams were focused and playing hard, however when San Antonio plays like that they just have too much depth for Durant and Westbrook to overcome for 48 minutes.

  19. kb2408 - May 30, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Just watch how the Heat’s bandwagon empties in a couple of wks. The majority of you dolts have only been Heat “fans” for 5 yrs or less anyway. Forgive me, Dr. Buss but……GO SPURS!!!

    • billtetley53 - May 30, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      Shut up you freaking moron!!! Jesus, youve predicted 1 f’ing game right all postseason long.
      Most people would quit while they are behind, but not you, Mr. Know nothing. Dont you ever get tired of looking like a fool on here? Do you thrive on the negative attention you get?

      I feel kinda sorry for you. Youre 42, probably still a virgin, never seen an actual woman naked without the help of books or the internet. You have to aggrevate people to violence against you in your daily life, youre just that mindnumbingly stupid.

      I bet your face is just so punchable, isnt you CS?

  20. bball242322 - May 30, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    Spurs vs. Pacers Finals. Spurs win in 7. Pacers come back next year and win it all

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