The Thunder are moving on to the NBA Finals. Just let that sink in for a minute. Wasn’t it just a week ago, the Spurs looked unstoppable? They had all their gears moving, and Gregg Popovich was telling his team to bring the nasty. Tim Duncan was playing like the Duncan of old. Tony Parker was up to his MVP type level. Manu Ginobili was a spark off the bench. Those big three wanted to get the Spurs in their rightful place at the Finals.
Then, things turned around as Kevin Durant put this team on his back in the fourth quarter of game four and scored 18 of his 36 points there. Serge Ibaka was perfect that night as he put together 11-11 shooting from the field on his way to 26 points. Game Five saw James Harden come to the party hitting timely three’s on his way to 20 points, and suddenly this was a series that looked to be in favor of the Thunder.
Well, the Spurs started off the night last night looking like that team that had won all those games during the regular season, and never encountered a three game losing streak. Tony Parker in the first quarter almost outscored the Thunder by himself. He had a hand in just about every point the Spurs were scoring. He had 14 points in that quarter as he looked like he could take over. Stephen Jackson stepped up to the plate and hit 23 points with 6 three pointers. Tim Duncan even had 25 points and 14 rebounds, the kind of stats that make you think the Spurs won this game. Even after building up a lead of 15 points at one point in the game.
The Thunder woke up after halftime and held the Spurs down as they only scored 18 points in each quarter after that. The Thunder meanwhile put up 32 and 27 to put away this Spurs team. Kevin Durant finally got his wish of playing the entire game, and was the reason the Thunder won this game and the series. Russell Westbrook couldn’t help but get 25 points on his own with a monstrous dunk in the first quarter.
This was Durant’s time to shine. You could see on his face and his body language that he was ready to carry this Thunder team to the Finals. They were ready for that next step as their younger legs out ran the older ones of the Spurs. The Spurs should be back next year as they look to have a good young group of guys themselves just learning how to play together. But this is about the Thunder’s time to make some noise in the NBA Finals as I believe they will take the title. And this could be something we see more of in the next coming years with the young stature of this Thunder team.