I think “wow” is the only word to describe what happened in Game 6 between the Thunder and Spurs Thursday night. Not only did OKC surprise most of the population by beating San Antonio in six games, but they closed out the series with a 14-point victory, 113-99.
There was competition in the first quarter, the complete opposite of how most of the game went. Although the Thunder outscored SAS 25-19 in the frame, the Spurs got great production from LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard, and Tim Duncan — but no one else showed up. All 19 points came from the trio above, and they shot 9/15 while the rest of the team missed the seven shots they attempted. Russell Westbrook took advantage and scored or assisted on seven of the Thunder’s made shots. Kevin Durant got off to a sluggish start and, despite his ten points, shot just 4/10 in the period.
The second quarter of Game 6 of the 2016 Western Conference Semifinals just might have been the worst quarter the Spurs have played over the last two decades. San Antonio had nothing working for them on offense and scored just 12 points and shot 23% from the field; credit must be given to the Thunder, though, because they played hellacious defense that absolutely stifled SA’s offense. Leonard, the MVP runner-up, boasted a plus/minus of -20 and Aldridge’s was -14. OKC got superb all-around contributions from guys who weren’t Westbrook and Durant — namely Steven Adams and Andre Roberson, who combined for 11 points on 4/4 shooting. The Thunder entered the break with a twenty-four point lead on the Spurs, 55-31.
After halftime, both teams got into a marvelous shootout, and their offenses looked spectacular. Leonard had nine as the Spurs jumped out to a 34-point quarter and improved their field goal percentage to 54%. Aldridge and Duncan added 11 combined points on 5/8 shooting, but the Spurs’ defense had more trouble slowing down OKC. Roberson was still a thorn in Popovich’s side and put up seven more points on 3/5 from the field — one of those was a layup where he out-hustled Kawhi Leonard. Durant and Westbrook were still themselves and did a lot to push the Thunder to 36 points. KD had eight points in eight minutes, and Westbrook assisted on five of Oklahoma City’s 13 field goals. Despite the push, San Antonio trailed by 26 entering the fourth.
Despite a big deficit, the Spurs didn’t relent and, at one point, trimmed the lead to 11 with less than three minutes to go. Leonard and Duncan were the high scorers with six each, and Andre Miller was inserted into the game, played 9:18 of the fourth, and dished out four assists to keep the offense rolling; San Antonio finished with 34 points. Since it was the last period, it’s not a shock that Westbrook and Durant attempted 13 of the team’s 17 shots and accounted for 20 of their 22 points. KD edged out Russ regarding effectiveness with 11 points on 4/7, but the Thunder played noticeably worse than the Spurs.
Kevin Durant pushed OKC into the Western Conference Finals with a 37-point, nine rebound performance. Westbrook had just as stellar a performance and finished with 28 points and 12 assists. Roberson and Adams came with great energy and played their hearts out, finishing with 29 points and 18 rebounds (eight offensive) between them.
Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals is Monday, May 16, at 9:00 PM EST in Golden State.