What a difference a few days can make.
It wasn’t all that long ago that the Thunder looked dead in the Riverwalk water. No wins in the Western Conference Finals. No answers for the Spurs.
My, how things have changed.
Tuesday night, the Thunder beat the Spurs 105-92 and tied up the series at two games apiece. Now, the Thunder has all the momentum and the Spurs look like the ones who are in trouble.
Tuesday night at The Peake, the Spurs had no answer for Russell Westbrook. Or Kevin Durant. Or Serge Ibaka. Or pretty much anyone in a Thunder uniform.
Westbrook had a stat line that is among his very best: 40 points on only 24 shots, 10 assists, five rebounds, five steal, three turnovers.
“Russell, obviously, he had a monster game,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.
After Spurs point guard Tony Parker had his way in the first two games of this series. Westbrook has asserted himself as the best point guard in the series in the last two games. He’s not only the aggressor on the offensive end but also the stopper on the defensive end. Parker had only 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting and four assists Tuesday night.
Durant had his best shooting night of this series. He finished 11 of 22, but in the first half when the Thunder really took it to the Spurs, Durant was 9 of 12. He got to the basket. He created shots. He hit threes.
No matter who the Spurs put on him, Durant had his way on the offensive end.
As for Ibaka, he wasn’t nearly the stat-sheet filler that he was in Game 3 when he returned from a calf strain, but he still had nine points, eight rebounds and three blocks and his presence affected the Spurs. Even though they scored 36 points in the paint, it was on 18 of 40 shooting.
“That was another good defensive game,” Brooks said. “We used our length and our athleticism to disrupt their flow.”
Now, the series goes back to San Antonio. Game 5 will be at 8 Thursday night.
“We gotta win one there if we’re gonna win the series,” Westbrook said after the game on TNT. “We’re going to go in with the same mindset and try to come out with a win.”