The San Antonio Spurs advanced to the NBA Finals Saturday with a 112-107 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder to win the Western Conference Finals 4-2. In a thriling game, the first of the series, the two teams exchanged substantial leads only to see the other team storm back. The Spurs lead by 10 late in the fourth quarter before OKC mounted a furious comeback.
But in overtime, the Spurs turned to the star around whom their world turns, Tim Duncan. The future Hall of Famer worked over Serge Ibaka in the post, drawing fouls, and then hitting spin move after spin move to clinch the victory. The Spurs won the entire game in typical Spurs fashion, though, with their bench outscoring the Thunder's reserves 51-5. Boris Diaw lead the team with 25 points, Duncan added 19, and Kawhi Leonard 17. Russell Westbrook finished with 34 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists, and Kevin Durant with 31 points and 14 rebounds.
San Antonio will face the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat in a rematch of last year's classic Finals, starting with Game 1 in San Antonio Thursday.
Westbrook sparked the comeback in the fourth with a series of dazzling steals, but Manu Ginobili landed a huge three with 27.1 seconds to make it 100-99. Oklahoma City turned the ball over on the ensuing possession but after Ginobili split a pair of free throws, Westbrook drove to draw the foul and tie the game. Ginobili got a look at a step-back two, but missed, and Tim Duncan's putback was late.