Court Vision: The Spurs aren't afraid of athleticism at home

By Zach Harper | NBA writer

More postseason coverage: Playoff schedule, results | Latest news, notes

San Antonio 117 Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder 89 (Spurs lead series 3-2)

Here's what we learned on Thursday, as the San Antonio Spurs showed us that home court advantage means everything when facing the Oklahoma City Thunder.

• We learned that home court advantage will likely decide this series. Let's take a look at the outcomes of these games based on location. Spurs at home in this series have been dominant. They've won by 17 points, 35 points, and 28 points in their three home games. In the two losses in Oklahoma City, the Spurs were defeated by nine points (but trailed by as many as 20) and 13 points (down by as many as 27), respectively. If you're playing at home, you're blowing out the other team.

• The Spurs went small to start this game and while it didn't give them a huge advantage with their fifth starter, Matt Bonner, it did get them to play at a much faster pace. They pushed the ball against the Thunder all night, attacked quicker in their sets, and really used much more versatile lineups to keep OKC off-balance. Bonner didn't score but the other starters had solid nights, led by Tim Duncan's 22 points and 12 rebounds in only 30 minutes.

• Seven different Thunder bench players scored 26 points on 10-of-27 from the field in 96 combined minutes. Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw combined for 32 points on 11-of-16 from the field in 49 minutes. I'd say the Spurs' bench probably had a better night, just based on that juxtaposition.

Reggie Jackson started 5-of-5 from the field and finished 5-of-10 for 11 points. He didn't hit a shot after the first quarter, nor did he score a point.

• In the Thunder's impressive Game 4 victory, they dominated the fast break points 21-0 against the Spurs. In Game 5, the Spurs won the fast break points battle with a 14-4 margin. They slowed down the Thunder completely.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 46 of the Thunder's 89 points. Either they need to do more or they need a lot of help, but this mostly starts on defense creating quick offense.

• Game 6 will be Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT.

Duncan is looking to finish what he couldn't in 2012. (USATSI)
Tim Duncan is looking to finish what he couldn't in 2012. (USATSI)

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