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Oklahoma City Thunder: Third quarter proves fatal in Thunder's season-ending loss

Already down seven, San Antonio would be without All-Star point guard Tony Parker in the second half with an ankle injury. But the Spurs didn’t blink. And the Thunder imploded — crumbling in a third quarter of doom that will define OKC’s season-ending 112-107 Game 6 loss on Saturday night.
by Anthony Slater Published: June 1, 2014

/articleid/4869845/1/pictures/2709214">Photo - Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (0) goes to the basket as San Antonio's Patty Mills (8) defends during Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, May 31, 2014. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (0) goes to the basket as San Antonio's Patty Mills (8) defends during Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, May 31, 2014. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

It was a devastating 12 minutes of basketball for the Thunder. But it was a fatal 32 seconds to close it out.

In the final minute, already trailing by three, Boris Diaw turned a Thunder turnover into a big three on the other end. Then moments later, after a Reggie Jackson missed layup, the Spurs dwindled the game clock down and Danny Green knocked in another momentum three, plus a Kevin Durant foul, for a four-point play.

The Spurs’ lead had ballooned to 10. San Antonio ended the quarter with a 7-0 run in the final half-minute, securing a lopsided 37-20 advantage for the period.

“Defensively, they had us scrambling around,” Brooks said. “They made some big plays at the end (of the third).”

Backs against the wall, desperate to stave off elimination, the Thunder put up a valiant fourth-quarter effort. Playing with a frantic and explosive style, OKC found a way to force an overtime in which it’d eventually be eliminated.

But this one was lost in a game-changing third quarter that looked so promising at the start. Despite missing Parker, eight Spurs players made at least one shot in the quarter. The Thunder only had five players score in the entire game.

Story of the game. Story of the series.

by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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