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Spurs dispose Thunder, advance to second straight NBA Finals


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- Tim Duncan turned back the clock Saturday night when the San Antonio Spurs closed out the Western Conference Finals series 4-2 following a thrilling 112-107 overtime win over the OKC Thunder in Game 6 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Duncan, a 2-time MVP and 4-time NBA champion, finished with 19 points, including a tough fade away jumper that gave the Spurs a 110-107 cushion with just 19.4 ticks left in overtime. Duncan, a 14-time All-Star also had 15 rebounds in 39 minutes of play.

"We wanted it badly. I was afraid we gave it away there late. It's unbelievable to regain the focus (after last season's loss). We've got four more to win and we'll do it this time," Duncan told David Aldridge of TNT Sports during the post game interview.

The Spur's win catapults them to a second straight NBA Finals appearance, setting up a rematch with the two defending champions Miami Heat, who beat them in seven games last June.

The 2014 NBA Finals begin on June 5 (June 6 in Manila). The Spurs will host Games 1,2,5 and 7 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio while the Heat will host Games 3,4 and 6 at the American Airlines Arena.

Boris Diaw had a big hand in eliminating the Spurs as the veteran forward drilled 26 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the field. Kawhi Leonard finished with 17 and 11 boards while Manu Ginobili added 15.

The Spurs, who shot 38 of 94 from the field (40.4 percent), missed the services of Tony Parker, who sat out the second half with ankle soreness. Parker played only for 18 minutes and 52 seconds and logged 8 points.

After trailing 49-42 at the half, San Antonio turned the tables with a 37-20 third quarter barrage. The Spurs squandered a 12-point fourth quarter lead but held steady in overtime, fending off the rallying Thunder, 11-6.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 65 points to lead the Thunder, but they also combined for 14 turnovers. Reggie Jackson was solid with 21 points while Serge Ibaka came through with 16 and 4 blocks, but the Thunder bench got only 5 points, all from veteran Derek Fisher. (Homer D. Sayson)


Photo: Boris Diaw had 26 points in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals where the Spurs eliminated the OKC Thunder in overtime, 112-107, to advance to the NBA Finals for the second year in a row.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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