Thunder-Spurs: Kevin Durant responds to Lil Wayne controversy

Durant said “it was just a misunderstanding. We were sold out of tickets, I heard, and we didn't come through. We'd have loved to have him here in Oklahoma City.”
By John Rohde and Mel Bracht Published: June 3, 2012

San Antonio ranked fourth in the regular season in assists at 23.2 and leads all teams in the postseason at 23.1. However, the Spurs actually trail OKC in the Western Conference Finals in total assists 87-84 (21.8-21.0).

Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook has the most assists with 27 in the series, followed by Durant and Tony Parker with 22. James Harden has 15 and Manu Ginobili 12.

The Thunder is 30-5 (. 857) this season when it finishes with more assists than its opponent, including 8-0 in the playoffs.

50-50 SHOOTING

The Thunder shot 56.4 percent from the field Saturday and the Spurs shot 50.0 percent.

San Antonio became only the seventh team to shoot 50 percent or better against the Thunder all season. The Spurs shot 55.1 percent in Game 2.

OKC is 21-0 this season when shooting 50 percent or better while opponents are 4-3.

TIP-INS

The Thunder outrebounded San Antonio 41-31 and improved to 14-1 this season when outrebounding an opponent by 10 or more, the lone exception being a 96-95 loss at Houston on Feb. 15. The Spurs' 31 boards were a season-low. … Game 4 was only the third time Westbrook (seven points) failed to score in double-digits this season, the others being four points at Memphis in the third game of the year (0 for 13 from the field) and nine points in a loss at the L.A. Clippers late in the season (4 for 16). On Saturday, Westbrook was 2 for 10 from the field and 1 for 4 from the free-throw line. … OKC is 18-4 after a loss this season. … Counting postseason, OKC now has 63 consecutive sellouts at home.

DO-BETTER TALK

San Antonio players received an earful from coach Gregg Popovich at halftime of Game 4, when they trailed 55-43.

“I don't think Gregg Popovich should have to come in this locker room and scream and kick to get guys to go in and play hard,” Spurs forward Stephen Jackson said after the loss. “This is the Western Conference finals. I know a million people who want to be in our shoes. For him to have to come in here and scream at guys to play hard … I am shocked. Everybody should be ready to play. … We've got to show more emotion and more passion to want to win this thing.”

Ginobili said Popovich's message was nothing unusual.

“It's something that happens all the time,” Ginobili said. “I'm not sure it was about playing hard. We were not sharp. It was very similar to what happened in Game 3. We had a way better second half, actually very good. That's my gut feeling.”

SIGN OF THE TIMES

Shown on TNT with 57.3 seconds left in Game 4: “WHERE'S THAT NASTY?”

The sign was in response to the well-documented pep talk from Popovich in Game 1 when he told his team: “I want some nasty,” a catchphrase that has since popped up on T-shirts around San Antonio and on placards throughout the AT&T Center.

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS RATINGS UP

Through Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, TNT is on pace to deliver its second highest-rated and second most-viewed playoffs ever.

Ratings for the Thunder-Spurs series are up 7 percent in ratings (4.6 vs. 4.3); 6 percent among households (5,250,000 vs. 4,935,000) and 4 percent among viewers (7,193,000 vs. 6,922,000) compared with the 2011 Western Conference finals on ESPN (Thunder-Mavericks).

For Game 4, Oklahoma City was the top-rated local market with a 28.5 rating and San Antonio was second with 22.2.

QUOTABLE

The Spurs' Stephen Jackson on OKC tying the series at 2: “Those kids are playing hard. They want it. I think we've got to get back to being that way.”

BY JOHN ROHDE AND MEL BRACHT

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