Thunder top Spurs, even up Western Conference Finals
By Austin Prickett
Russell Westbrook became the first player with 40 pts, 10 assists and five steals in a playoff game since Michael Jordan in 1989, and Oklahoma City defeated San Antonio 105-92 in Game 4 Tuesday night. The Western Conference Finals series is now tied up at two games a piece. "Coming out with a win is most important," said Westbrook. "I just try to come out and give maximum effort. My teammates ask that of me and that's what I try to do on both ends of the floor." "Rusell's defensive toughness, I really thought set the tone in this game tonight," said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks. Russell was all over the floor. He has energy to supply the whole room, that's how he plays, and that's when we're at our best, when he is locked in defensively." As a whole, the Thunder controlled the pace of this game. Oklahoma City got out in transition, outscoring San Antonio in fast break points, 21-0. Kevin Durant, who had 22 points at the half, finished with 31 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. "We're the leaders, we set the tone, and they follow us," said Durant. Rusell does a great job every game of just playing with that fire and that force. I just try to do the same thing and have our teammates follow behind us." Serge Ibaka, who returned in Game 3, after missing the first two games of the Western Conference Finals with a left calf strain, tacked on 9 points, 8 rebound and 3 blocks. The Thunder have now won seven straight games against the Spurs with Ibaka in the lineup. "We play well with Serge," Brooks said. "Serge is a really good basketball player. He's gotten better in a lot of areas. Defensively, we can change some things up, do what we do with Serge in the lineup, that we can't do with other guys." Oklahoma City shot 48.7 percent from the field, and held the Spurs to under 40 percent shooting (39.8 %) for the second straight game. The Thunder are 4-0 in playoff series when tied at 2-2 since 2011. Game 5 set for Thursday night in San Antonio. "We gotta win one there if we want to win the series," said Westbrook. "We're gonna go out there with the same mindset and try to come out with a win."
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