San Antonio (2-1) at Oklahoma City (1-2)
When: Sunday, May 8th 2016
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: TNT
The San Antonio Spurs look to take a commanding lead in their Western Conference Semifinal series with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night. The Spurs bounced back from a rare home loss in Game 2 and held off the Thunder 100-96 on Friday night. Small forward Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 31 points in the Game 3 victory and also pulled down 11 rebounds. Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge continued his strong series with 24 points and eight rebounds and is averaging 34.3 points and shooting 63.1% in the series. Veteran point guard Tony Parker scored 19 points Friday after averaging 4.5 over the first two games and also contributed eight rebounds and five assists in a strong all-around effort. Danny Green is 10-for-19 from 3-point range in the series while averaging 11.7 points. Tim Duncan, who averaged 24 minutes over the first two games, was held to two points in just 14 minutes of action.
If the Thunder want another home game in this series, they better win tonight. The talk about this maybe being Kevin Durant’s last home game is swirling and Durant wants nothing of it. He had 26 points in Friday’s game, but has gone cold from long-range in this series. In his last five games, Durant is 6-for-24 from three-point range after hitting 39% during the regular season. Star point guard Russell Westbrook had 31 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in Game 3 but his five turnovers and 10-of-31 shooting stood out in a four-point loss. Durant and Westbrook have each scored 25 points in the same playoff game on 33 occasions – tied for second all-time with the former Los Angeles Lakers’ duo of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Serge Ibaka could be someone that can take some of Westbrook’s shots. The power forward took only eight shots in Game 3, but he hit five of them (all 3’s) and finished with 15 points.
Although I think this will be another close game throughout, the Spurs just have too much experience and leadership to lose another game to the Thunder. All the pressure is on Oklahoma City. They know that if they don’t win this game, the series is virtually over.
Pick: Spurs -1