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OKC Thunder wins Game 5 to take 3-2 lead on Spurs

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY Published: June 4, 2012

The lead just kept shrinking.

Slowly, surely, it seemed the Oklahoma City Thunder appeared destined to suffer the same fate it did in Game 1 of this Western Conference Finals.

Thirteen … 10 … eight.

Soon, the petrifying memory of the previous year's trip to this round reared its head.

The season was reaching its brink.

Six … four … two.

That's when Russell Westbrook hit a jump shot that restored all faith that this game, and perhaps this year, would be different.

The Thunder is now one win away from its first trip to the NBA Finals.

Oklahoma City withstood the stubborn San Antonio Spurs down the stretch on Monday night to take a 108-103 win in Game 5 inside the AT&T Center.

A win in Game 6 on Wednesday will crown the Thunder as Western Conference champions in just its fourth year in Oklahoma City.

The young, up-and-coming Thunder would become only the 15th team in NBA history to come back from a 2-0 series hole to win a best-of-seven series. It's now a reality that looked as bleak as can be last week, when the cagey old Spurs were sending a message to the Thunder that it might not be its time.

“We never just thought that we were supposed to wait our turn,” said Kevin Durant. “We always wanted to go and take everything.”

On this night, the Thunder did just that.

Owning a nine-point lead heading into the fourth quarter for the second time in this series, the Thunder's challenge this time was to finish the job. Oklahoma City opened this series with a heart-breaking three-point loss after blowing a 71-62 lead it took into the final frame.

But this time, the Thunder was prepared.

“We learned from it,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “That first game, we didn't move the ball as well as we did, and we didn't defend as well as we were capable of defending.”

A 3-minute, 43 second scoring drought is what tested the Thunder this go-round.

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