SAN ANTONIO — Wednesday night could be party time in Oklahoma City. The Thunder is coming home with a chance to win the Western Conference.
In the biggest victory in Oklahoma City's National Basketball Association history, the Thunder swiped home-court advantage from the San Antonio Spurs with a 108-103 verdict in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals Monday night at the AT&T Center.
Kevin Durant scored 27 points, Russell Westbrook added 25 and James Harden hit two huge 3-pointers down the stretch.
Game 6 is at 8 p.m. Wednesday back in Oklahoma City, with the Thunder holding a three games to two lead in the best-of-seven series.
The Spurs, who only a few days ago had won 20 straight games, now have lost three straight to the Thunder, which is a win away from reaching the NBA Finals.
“Total team effort,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “We stuck together, and we had a couple of bad stretches, but we didn't break. We battled through.”
Harden's four-point play with 5:17 left gave the Thunder a 101-88 lead and sent some of the Spurs fans to the exit aisles. But San Antonio, which has won four NBA titles since 1999, mounted a comeback and drew within 101-99 with 1:54 left.
Westbrook nailed a 16-foot shot, but Spurs star Tim Duncan answered with a bank shot with 50 seconds left.
The Thunder ran down the shot clock and Harden launched a 3-pointer that swished with 28.8 seconds to go, giving OKC a 106-101 lead.
The Thunder had to avoid one last scare — an inbounds turnover with 15.5 seconds left gave the Spurs a chance to tie. But Manu Ginobili's desperation 3-pointer bounced off, and the Thunder had a monumental victory that could signal a shift in the NBA's balance of power, provided OKC can hold serve back home at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“You know, championship teams win on the road, and Oklahoma City did just that,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “So they've proven they're a championship-caliber team. We have to go do that. If we can't win on Wednesday, we're not a championship-caliber team. It's as simple as that.”
The Thunder trailed 62-56 midway through the third quarter, but Durant, who only had one basket at halftime, got hot and keyed a 25-10 run.