Win or go home. That is exactly what needs to happen for the San Antonio Spurs to push their series with the Oklahoma City Thunder to a decisive Game 7.
Definitely easier said than done. The Spurs have their backs against the wall as they make their way into Chesapeake Energy Arena where they have won one game already in this series, that being Game 3. The Thunder have roared back after their blowout loss in Game 1 and have shown their strength, literally against a depleted Spurs team.
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Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have been key in the last two wins for the Thunder. In Game 4, Durant went off scoring 29 of his 41 points in the second half. In Game 5, it was Russell Westbrook’s turn, nearly notching a triple-double finishing with 35 points, 11 rebounds and nine assist.
If either – or both – get going in Game 6, the Spurs could be done for the year.
The Thunder want to bring their best effort in Game 6 because they’re really not interested in going back to San Antonio for Game 7.
San Antonio got a welcoming game from Danny Green whom scored 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the floor, including 6-of-9 from 3PT. LaMarcus Aldridge did not shoot well as he went 6-of-21 from the floor for 20 points in 37 minutes of play. Kawhi Leonard had a team-high 26 points to go with six rebounds, four assists and five steals.
Tim Duncan is starting to show his age. He has struggled in the past two games of the Western Conference semifinals against Oklahoma City’s young front line featuring Steven Adams and Enes Kanter. In Game 4, he went scoreless in 12 minutes, committed four fouls in the first half and did not play in the fourth quarter. In Game 5, Duncan was 1 for 6 from the field and scored five points in 28 minutes.
Duncan likely will need to play more like his former self Thursday night in Oklahoma City if the Spurs are to extend their season, and perhaps his career. Duncan has a player option for next season, and he hasn’t made it clear what he will do.
Adams and Kanter not only have done a good job on Duncan, but they are containing Aldridge as well. They have slowed Aldridge, who averaged 39.5 points on 75 percent shooting the first two games. That has dropped to 21.3 points per contest on 36.7 percent shooting the last three.
Game 6 will have a lot of storylines tied to it. Will it be the last game we see the ‘Big 3’ together if the Spurs lose. If they win, it could be the last home game for Durant in a Oklahoma City uniform.
The time is now. Win or go home.