|Date of game: 5/31/2012
Recap: Oklahoma City vs. San Antonio
Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - The Spurs hadn't lost a game since early April. The Thunder hadn't lost at home in these playoffs. Something had to give on Thursday and in the end it was San Antonio.
Kevin Durant scored 22 points, Thabo Sefolosha had 19 and the Thunder rolled to a 102-82 victory in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.
The Spurs suffered their first defeat since April 11, ending a stretch of 20 straight wins. The run included 10 victories in the postseason, including triumphs in the first two games of this series.
But the Thunder jumped out to an 8-0 lead on Thursday and led by as many as 27 to improve to 6-0 at home in the postseason. They racked up 18 fastbreak points and got a strong effort from their supporting cast. Sefolosha had six steals and scored 16 of his points in the second half. Serge Ibaka finished with 14 points and three blocks and James Harden scored 15.
"We came out and played with a sense of urgency that we need to play with for the rest of the series," said Durant.
Tony Parker and Stephen Jackson had 16 points apiece to pace San Antonio, which shot just 39.5 percent and committed 21 turnovers, leading to 20 Thunder points.
"We played great defense from the start," said winning coach Scott Brooks. "Defensively, that was as well as you can play against the best team in basketball."
Game 4 of the series is set for Saturday in Oklahoma City.
Tim Duncan scored seven of his 11 points in the first quarter and the Spurs withstood Oklahoma City's early barrage to go on top 13-12. They held on for a 24-22 lead after one but the Thunder were in control for the remainder of the game.
Harden was the catalyst in the second quarter. He scored nine straight points as part of an 18-6 run to open the frame. Sefolosha added a three-pointer and backup big man Nick Collison had a pair of buckets, including a layup which gave the Thunder a 40-30 advantage.
They pushed the lead to 15 before halftime and never trailed again.
It was 54-41 entering the third quarter and the Spurs couldn't muster enough offense to mount a comeback. They scored just 19 points in the frame on 36.8 percent shooting. Sefolosha countered with nine points and Derek Fisher gave the Thunder a 22-point lead with a trey shortly before the fourth.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich sat his starters for the entirety of the final frame.
"They played very well. They played like it was a close-out game," said Popovich. "They were very active, physical, they moved the ball well on offense and they did all those things better than we did. They beat us good."Game Notes
The Spurs' 20 straight wins marked the longest win streak to extend into the playoffs in NBA history. They were the fourth team in NBA history to win 20 games in a row...Only 14 teams in NBA history have overcome an 0-2 deficit to win a best-of-seven series.