San Antonio Spurs Earn Game 3 Win Against OKC Thunder

By Ian Smith
May 6, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots the ball over San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan (21) during the first quarter in game three of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
May 6, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots the ball over San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan (21) during the first quarter in game three of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports /
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Game 3 between the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder came down to the wire in a dramatic finish. The Spurs held on to a 100-96 win to go up 2-1 in the series.

Both offenses came out of the gate strongly, and the frenzied sea of blue and white at Chesapeake Energy Arena pumped up the volume.

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The Spurs shot the 3-pointer efficiently early, correcting their poor performance shooting from distance in game 2.

The Spurs forced 4 straight turnovers towards the end of the quarter which allowed them to get out to a modest lead. The 1st quarter ended with the Spurs winning 27-20.

After a fast start to the quarter, the Thunder missed their last 5 shots of the first. The Thunder continued their cold streak into the 2nd quarter.

OKC did’t score in over 7 minutes, and missed 9 straight shots. The Thunder looked completely out of sorts offensively.

The Spurs took advantage of the Thunder’s misfortunes and went on a 13-2 run to grow the lead.

San Antonio let their defense lead to solid offense. Kawhi Leonard was excelling at cleaning up rebounds, and an impressive play occurred when Danny Green blocked Russell Westbrook’s shot and sprinted down court to hit a 3-pointer.

The Thunder fed off of their home crowd’s energy, decreasing the Spurs’ lead. As the quarter wound down, Steven Adams continued to show why he’s such a reliable source of second-chance points for the Thunder, as he was extremely active on the offensive glass.

The first half ended with the Spurs winning 47-42. Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Westbrook, and Kevin Durant all had double-digit point totals as the halftime buzzer rang.

The Thunder were leaning heavily on their core unit, only getting 2 points from their bench. Although they were only down by 5 points, it could have been far worse, considering that their sloppy offensive execution lead them to commit more turnovers than earn assists in the first half.

Oklahoma City was able to cut the lead to just 1 point towards the end of the 3rd quarter. The Spurs were able to answer with an 8-0 run lead by the efforts of Leonard and Tony Parker.

A scary moment happened in the 3rd quarter when Aldridge had to come out of the game after landing funny. He appeared to be holding his hip area on the Spurs’ bench, but returned to the game after a brief rest.

The Thunder recovered from a sloppy first half by committing only 1 turnover during the entire 3rd quarter. The Spurs remained in the lead by a score of 72-69.

A Serge Ibaka 3-pointer gave the Thunder their first lead since the opening minutes of the game. Another 3-pointer by Westbrook just moments later forced the Spurs to call a timeout.

The Spurs were in a funk, missing 4 straight shots to forfeit the lead. The Thunder took advantage and initiated a 10-2 run.

The game was tied at 85-85 with less than 5 minutes remaining. The Spurs’ sharpshooting from deep offset their unsatisfactory shooting at the free throw line.

The Thunder committed some costly turnovers in the final couple minutes, but Westbrook made some huge offensive plays to pull his team within 2 points with under a minute left.

Leonard came up with a crucial offensive rebound to reset the shot clock and force the Thunder to send Parker to the line. Parker hit both free throws.

Waiters hit a midrange jumper to cut the lead back down to 2 points with under 5 seconds remaining.

The Thunder then sent Leonard to the line, and he hit both shots to put the game out of reach. The Spurs took back home-court advantage in the series with their 100-96 win in OKC.

Leonard and Westbrook tied for the game lead in points with 31 each. Leonard also added 11 rebounds. Durant had 26 points himself, and Aldridge had another strong performance with 24 points.

Next: San Antonio Spurs vs. OKC Thunder Game 3 Keys to Victory

Game 4 will be played in Oklahoma City on Sunday May 8th. It’s setting up to be an exciting Mother’s Day matchup between two of the elite teams in the NBA.

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