Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook reacts after dunking the ball against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half of Game 6 in the NBA basketball Western Conference finals, Wednesday, June 6, 2012, in Oklahoma City.
As of Thursday, June 7, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Kevin Durant had 34 points and 14 rebounds while playing all of regulation for the first time all season, and the Oklahoma City Thunder claimed a spot in the NBA finals by beating the San Antonio Spurs 107-99 on Wednesday night.
Russell Westbrook added 25 points for the Thunder, who trailed Game 6 of the Western Conference finals by 18 in the first half and erased a 15-point halftime deficit before pulling ahead to stay in the fourth.
Durant grabbed the final rebound, dribbled the ball across halfcourt and raised his right fist to celebrate with a sold-out crowd. The franchise will play for the NBA title for the first time since 1996, before relocating from Seattle.
Tony Parker had 29 points and 12 assists for San Antonio, but only eight of the points and two assists came in the second half. Tim Duncan chipped in 25 points and 14 rebounds, and Stephen Jackson scored 23.
Game 1 of the NBA finals will be Tuesday night in Oklahoma City against either Boston or Miami. The Celtics lead that series 3-2 and can earn a trip to the finals with a win at home in Game 6 on Thursday night.
The Thunder took the lead for good early in the fourth quarter, getting nine of their first 13 points on free throws as the fouls started to pile up for San Antonio - six on the defensive end and three on the offensive end in the first 7 minutes.
Derek Fisher and James Harden hit 3-pointers in a three-possession span to increase the lead to 99-93 with 3:13 remaining, and Oklahoma City held on from there.
Jackson, who had made his previous six 3-pointers, and Parker both missed 3s that would have gotten the Spurs within 103-102 in the final minute.
Durant celebrated even before the final buzzer, hugging his family seated courtside after a foul was called with 14 seconds remaining. The Thunder became the NBA's 15th team to come back from an 0-2 deficit in a seven-game series, doing it against a team that had won 20 games in a row.
The Spurs put up quite a fight, at least for the first half.
Leonard 2-7 0-0 5, Duncan 11-23 3-4 25, Diaw 0-1 0-0 0, Parker 12-27 4-5 29, Ginobili 4-12 0-0 10, S.Jackson 6-7 5-6 23, Splitter 0-0 0-0 0, Neal 2-6 2-3 7, Green 0-1 0-0 0, Blair 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 37-84 14-18 99.
Durant 9-17 12-15 34, Ibaka 4-8 2-3 10, Perkins 2-8 0-0 4, Westbrook 9-17 6-7 25, Sefolosha 4-5 0-0 9, Harden 4-9 5-6 16, Collison 0-1 0-0 0, Fisher 4-7 0-0 9. Totals 36-72 25-31 107.
3-Point Goals:San Antonio 11-26 (S.Jackson 6-7, Ginobili 2-8, Leonard 1-3, Neal 1-3, Parker 1-4, Green 0-1), Oklahoma City 10-18 (Durant 4-8, Harden 3-4, Westbrook 1-1, Sefolosha 1-2, Fisher 1-3). Fouled Out:None. Rebounds:San Antonio 43 (Duncan 14), Oklahoma City 50 (Durant 14). Assists:San Antonio 20 (Parker 12), Oklahoma City 18 (Westbrook, Durant 5). Total Fouls:San Antonio 24, Oklahoma City 18. Technicals:S.Jackson. A:18,203 (18,203).