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The Oklahoma City Thunder won their second straight game to knot up the Western Conference Finals with a 105-92 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
After falling behind 8-0 out of the gate, the Thunder turned things around and led 26-20 after the first quarter. Oklahoma City expanded its lead in the second quarter and led 58-43 at halftime.
The Thunder lead got as large as 27 when point guard Russell Westbrook threw down a dunk to make the score 76-49 in the third quarter.
“We play with toughness, we play with energy and we play together, and that’s been our recipe,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said in his postgame press conference on NBA.com. “We’re a good offensive team, we score enough points, but our defense is what really we hang our hat on.”
Oklahoma City’s defense shined, holding the Spurs to zero fast-break points and 39 percent shooting from the floor. OKC forced 13 turnovers and recorded 21 fast-break points, shot 49 percent and committed only seven turnovers.
The star for the Thunder was Westbrook. He posted 40 points, 10 assists and five steals. He joins Michael Jordan as the only players in history to record such numbers in a playoff game, according to ESPN.
Kevin Durant, the 2014 NBA MVP, amassed 31 points, five assists and five rebounds.
Durant and Westbrook (71 points combined) almost doubled the output of the five San Antonio starters, who compiled 39 points, notes ESPN.
The high scorers for San Antonio were Tony Parker and Boris Diaw, who each netted 14 points. Diaw also grabbed 10 rebounds.
The series heads back to San Antonio for game five on Thursday night.
“We know how tough it is to go in there and get a W, but we’re excited for this opportunity,” Durant said in his postgame press conference on NBA.com. “We got to go on the road and handle our business.”