Spurs Vs. Thunder, 2012 NBA Playoffs Game 5: Oklahoma City Takes Series Lead In San Antonio

The Oklahoma City Thunder had to leave the friendly confines of home for Monday night's game in the Western Conference Finals. Luckily for them, however, their momentum from Games 3 and 4 carried over as they were able to pick up a big win on the way to a 3-2 lead over the San Antonio Spurs in the potential seven-game series.

James Harden hit what might have been the biggest shot of the playoffs thus far, given the circumstances, in what ended up being a dagger three-pointer with less than a minute left in the game. The Spurs had a chance to tie it, but Manu Ginobili missed what would have been the tying shot with just a few seconds left on the clock to allow the Thunder to escape with a 108-103 victory.

It seemed as though San Antonio was on its way to a comeback victory after trailing by eight points at halftime, but Harden's dagger three-pointer close the door on any sort of Spurs momentum. The loss was a serious surprise to those that have followed San Antonio's season considering tit was the first time they've lost three consecutive games all season -- especially since it came at what was likely the most inopportune time.

Oklahoma City's stars all did about what is expected, as Kevin Durant scored 27 points -- despite being involved less than he should have been down the stretch -- while Russell Westbrook scored 23 points to go with 12 assists. Harden's night was strong, too, as he finished with 20 points while making 3-of-4 from beyond the three-point arc to go with a +24 in the +/- department.

San Antonio will need to regroup considering their move of inserting Ginobili into the starting lineup wasn't enough to cure what's currently ailing them. The former Sixth Man of the Year still finished with a game-high 34 points to complement Tim Duncan's 18-point, 12-rebound performance while Tony Parker scored a quiet 20 points, but more changes are going to need to occur for the Spurs to stave off a fourth-straight defeat.

For more on the Spurs, check out Pounding the Rock. For Thunder news and notes, visit Welcome To Loud City. And for news, analysis and everything else revolving around the NBA Playoffs, be sure to visit SB Nation's NBA page.

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