Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder have no quit in them. They came back from a 13-point deficit and outscored the San Antonio Spurs 13-3 in the final four minutes to take the pivotal Game 5 of the second round playoff series, 95-91, on Monday.
Westbrook had 35 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, and Durant added 23 points as the Thunder stunned the Spurs.
Kawhi Leonard had 26 points in the loss on a night the Spurs offense went ice cold down the stretch.
The Thunder overcame seven first-quarter turnovers to take a 22-16 lead after one thanks to poor shooting from the Spurs, who hit only 7-of-22 from the floor in the first. The Spurs settled in the second quarter thanks to Leonard, who put up 15 in the quarter as the Spurs took a 48-43 lead into the break.
The Spurs came out firing in the third quarter — building up a 13-point lead at one point — but the Thunder, behind Westbrook, climbed back and trailed by only three heading into the fourth. The Spurs went up 88-82 after a Leonard steal and dunk with 4:00 to play, but Westbrook wouldn't let the Thunder fade. He scored two buckets in an 8-0 run and assisted on the other as the Thunder took a 90-88 lead. Tony Parker tied it at 90 on a jumper, but Durant drew a foul to give the Thunder a two-point lead with 54.7 seconds left. Parker got to the line on the next possession, but only made one free throw.
Danny Green stripped Durant on the next possession, but Tony Parker missed a jumper that would have give the Spurs the lead. Westbrook ended it with a bucket and a foul with 6.3 seconds left — the Thunder pulled off the shocker.
The Thunder will have a chance to close things out in Game 6 in Oklahoma City on Thursday.
Here are three things we learned:
The Russell Westbrook-Kevin Durant show continues to work
Two stars are better than one. The Thunder are going to ride this train into the ground, and it's the move to make. Both Westbrook and Durant showed their worth in Game 5, leading a Thunder charge every time it seemed like the Spurs were going to pull away. If this is the final year the two superstars are together, they're at least making it count.
Kawhi Leonard knows the Spurs are his team
The Spurs were out of sorts through the first 15 minutes of the game — struggling to find a groove with their half-court offense. Then Leonard took over. He dropped 15 points in the second quarter as the Spurs outscored the Thunder 32-21 in the frame to take control of the game. The Spurs are relying more on one-on-one play, and Leonard is making it work. Part of it is that he's one of the most skilled players in the NBA, part of it is that he's relentless and wants to win.
Leonard is known for his silence and lack of emotion, but he's an assassin on the court. He will do whatever it takes to beat you, but on Tuesday it wasn't enough.
What a difference two games makes
After Game 1, this series seemed over — It even did after three games. The Spurs dominated the first game, survived a tough call in the second and handled the Thunder on the road in Game 3. But the Thunder have defied the odds, showing no quit as they battled to take Games 2 and 4 — and they threw their best at the Spurs in Game 5, too. And now, they have a shot to take the Spurs out.