SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 04: James Harden #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder reacts after a play late in the fourth quarter against the San Antonio Spurs in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on June 4, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Spurs Currently Dominating Thunder During Game Six

The Thunder won their third straight game, taking Game 5 in San Antonio 108-103 to move closer to the NBA Finals.

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Thunder Vs. Spurs: Game Time, TV Schedule For Game 6 Of Western Conference Finals

Just a few days ago, the San Antonio Spurs were rolling over the Oklahoma City Thunder and talk of a sweep was making its way around NBA circles. Now the Thunder have turned the tables and Kevin Durant and company hope to close out the series in game six of the Western Conference Finals.

All eyes will be on Gregg Popovich and his ability to make the right adjustments to the suddenly red hot Thunder. It's amazing how the momentum has completely changed in the series, but the Thunder stars are playing great basketball and even lesser known players like Daequan Cook are rising at the right time. OKC has San Antonio on their heels, so Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili will be expected to limit turnovers and match the scoring ability of Durant and Westbrook.

Here's the info you'll need to catch tonight's game.

Game Time: 8 p.m. CT

Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City

TV Coverage: TNT

For a more in-depth look at the Oklahoma City Thunder, go to Welcome To Loud City. Check out Pounding The Rock for additional news and analysis on the San Antonio Spurs.

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Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook And James Harden Show Strong Mental Focus For OKC Thunder

The talent has been here for some time. Even last year, the Oklahoma City Thunder made it this far before collapsing against the Dallas Mavericks. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and others were nearly this talented last year. It’s just a matter of growing up, and that was the biggest question facing the trio of stars on the Thunder roster. When it would happen, the power structure would undoubtedly change.

It appears that it’s just now happening in the Western Conference Finals before our very eyes against the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs were the savvy veteran team ignited by a few new additions in Kawhi Leonard and company who were on a potentially historic role. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili make a nice trio of their own and they’d won 20 games in a row and were even threatening to steam roll their way through another round of the NBA Playoffs.

Then came game three and the trip back to Oklahoma City. The Thunder won both home games and then upset the Spurs on their home court last night in game five, holding the upper hand for the rest of the series. Nothing is finished yet, of course, so it’s too early to speak of any series victory. But the Thunder have undoubtedly displayed a toughness, focus and determination typically reserved for the most seasoned teams. Someone, in short, has grown up.

"We talk about effort with our guys all the time," Brooks said after the game. "There is physical effort and there is mental effort. We all have enough in our tanks to be physical for 48 minutes. That’s easy to do… Mental effort is what gets you to win games against this team because they keep coming at you."

Harden agreed that the team was mentally prepared coming in and never panicked in the game or the series.

"There were times in this game where we could have folded," Harden said. "We were up I think nine or so in the third quarter and they went on a run and took the lead. We could have folded, but we’re family so we stuck together, stuck with it and made our run and took the lead and went from there."

"Our team showed mental toughness," Westbrook added. "Everybody stayed together. We got stops and we finally made some shots. And I think that was the turning point for us to see how the game was going to turn out."

Durant was already talking everyone down from the rafters immediately following the game, realizing the work that was still ahead of them. After all, it was only three games ago that the Spurs were supposedly making quick work of OKC.

"We don’t want to get too high for this win," Durant said. "We know that we still have a tough road ahead. But we came here, we wanted to get a win on their home floor. That’s what it (will take) for us to advance or to get to where we want to get to. We knew this was an important game."

Now they head back to OKC to try to finish the Spurs on their home court. The Spurs will be ready for the challenge, but it appears any mental edge the veteran team had over the fresh young legs of the Thunder has now been matched.

For a more in-depth look at the Oklahoma City Thunder, go to Welcome To Loud City. Check out Pounding The Rock for additional news and analysis on the San Antonio Spurs.

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Oklahoma City Thunder Must Replicate Adjustments And Game Plan Back In San Antonio

Two games on the road in San Antonio equaled an early hole in the Western Conference Finals for the Oklahoma City Thunder. The next two games at home leveled the playing field. So far, no team can make a statement away from their familiar terrain and the fans behind them. The Thunder will try to do take their adjustments and game plan from games three and four on the road tonight back in San Antonio.

Bomani Jones says that the Thunder made all the right moves recently, but the challenge will be replicating that task. He writes:

Kevin Durant closed out a fourth quarter in spectacular fashion. Scott Brooks made adjustments Popovich has yet to capably respond to. Kendrick Perkins scored 13 points in the first half of Game 4. Serge Ibaka nearly set a record for shooting perfection that same night. There was real-live ball movement. The Thunder, basically, did everything at home that it didn't do on the road.

The question -- how many of those things are likely to happen again? Durant doing it again seems most probable, but even his greatness has been prone to lulls. But here's something else that won't happen again -- Russell Westbrook and James Harden combining for 18 points, as they did in Game 4. The Thunder's back in it. The fun will be seeing how they might manage to stay there.

The Thunder will take this newfound momentum back to San Antonio tonight in game five of the Western Conference Finals.

For a more in-depth look at the Oklahoma City Thunder, go to Welcome To Loud City. Check out Pounding The Rock for additional news and analysis on the San Antonio Spurs.

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Kevin Durant Establishes All-Time NBA Playoff Greatness In Game 4 Win Over Spurs

Kevin Durant is already an NBA superstar. He's a scoring champion. He's an All-NBA player. He's an All-Star, MVP candidate, fan favorite and franchise icon. In short, he's already reached the elite level that very few players can ever reach. The only question about his future in the Professional Basketball Hall of Fame is whether or not his career will have the necessary longevity and his playoff success. Consider the second question answered.

Not every Hall of Fame player had a title on their belt. Some of the game's greats never had a chance to play for a team that could win it all. Some players had to play when others were also at their best. Karl Malone or Patrick Ewing had to play in the same era of the NBA as Michael Jordan. That doesn't negate their own incredible abilities. But Kevin Durant is doing everything he can to not only grab a title but show that he can dominate at the most clutch instances the NBA can throw at him.

His incredible performance in game four was just another dazzling display of his scoring prowess, athleticism and ability in all facets of the game. Royce Young celebrates this when he writes:

Game 4 was one of those games you file away and plan to call upon 15 years from now when you're talking about KD. Regardless of what happens next in this series, Durant's Game 4 was legendary-ish. The Thunder had blown a 15-point second half lead watching the Spurs close it to two and put the pressure on. But the Thunder put the ball, the game, the series in KD's hands and he did what he does. Kid Clutch was Kid Closer, embracing the responsibility and excelling with ample amounts of pressure.

When all was said and done, Durant led the Thunder in their game four win over the San Antonio Spurs with 36 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists and a perfect night from the free throw line with 9 for 9 shooting. He stayed on the court for 44 minutes, shot an impressive 13 of 20 overall and performed when his team needed it most.

No matter what happens, Durant has already established everything he needs for all-time-great consideration in the NBA. The kid is making history and it's unfolding before our eyes.

For a more of an in-depth look at the Thunder, go to Welcome To Loud City. Check out Pounding The Rock for additional news and analysis on the Spurs.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube



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VIDEO: Serge Ibaka Dunks On Tim Duncan In Oklahoma City Thunder Win Over Spurs

Serge Ibaka had an incredible night for the Oklahoma City Thunder last night as they evened the series against the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals at two wins apiece. With 26 points, Ibaka was an incredible 11 for 11 from the floor, including this dunk seen below, that provided yet another stellar performance from an unexpected source after Game 3 featured a Thabo Sefolosha breakout.

Ibaka finished with 26 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks. Check out this play of the night below:

For a more of an in-depth look at the Thunder, go to Welcome To Loud City. Check out Pounding The Rock for additional news and analysis on the Spurs.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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Thunder Vs. Spurs, Game 4: Kendrick Perkins' Pick-And-Roll Defense Key To Stopping San Antonio

The Oklahoma City Thunder will enter Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals with a set of renewed confidence in themselves and chances of moving onto the NBA Finals Saturday. That's because the Thunder are coming off one of their most impressive performance of the season Thursday, a 102-82 victory over the San Antonio Spurs, who had a 20-game winning streak snapped.

One of the big keys in the win was center Kendrick Perkins and his ability to defend the Spurs' pick-and-roll offense.

"I was just disappointed in my Game 2 performance as far as pick-and-roll defense and just being the defensive anchor that I’ve been all season so I just wanted to go out there and do what I needed to do, just try to stop they pick-and-roll."

Perkins success stemmed from a new attitude from the big man and a tweak in the defensive game plan, says the Thunder blog DailyThunder.com:

The Thunder attacked the pick-and-roll vigorously and switched up frequently on defense. Some of it was by design and some of it was dictated by how far the shot clock had ticked down but the switching was almost always called as an audible by the big guys, Perkins, or Ibaka or Collison. .

However, Thunder head coach Scott Brooks wasn't going to take all the credit for the Game 3 victory.

"We just played well," he said, "I don’t know we played hard, we played defense. We switched some but we stuck with a lot of our coverages and we’ll see what it does tomorrow."

Can the Thunder ride its Game 3 momentum Saturday, when they take on the Spurs in Game 4 (8:30 p.m. ET on TNT)? I guess, Thunder fans will find out.

For a more in-depth look at the Oklahoma City Thunder, go to Welcome To Loud City. Check out Pounding The Rock for additional news and analysis on the San Antonio Spurs.

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NBA Playoffs 2012, Thunder Vs. Spurs Game 4: Game Time, TV Schedule And More

After falling 2-0 in the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals, the Oklahoma City Thunder will have a chance to make its a brand new series Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET on TNT). The Thunder ended the Spurs 20-game winning streak on Thursday with a 102-82 blowout victory, and can tie the series at two games apiece with a victory in Game 4 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

To do so, the Thunder will need to continue their strong defensive play of Game 3, which held San Antonio to a season-low 82 points, and continue its hot scoring.

To catch the game, here's the game time and TV information:

Game Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK.

TV Coverage: TNT

For a more in-depth look at the Oklahoma City Thunder, go to Welcome To Loud City. Check out Pounding The Rock for additional news and analysis on the San Antonio Spurs.

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Thunder-Spurs: Lil Wayne Denied Entrance To Game 3 In Oklahoma City

The San Antonio Spurs are typically called boring and seem to lack the celebrity flavor of a Jay-Z courtside for the Nets or the celebrities that are always on-hand at a Knicks or Lakers game. However, Gregg Popovich has somehow inspired Lil Wayne's allegiance -- so much so that he tried to follow the team to Oklahoma City to root the Spurs on for game three last night. Unfortunately, the overly-tattooed rapper couldn't get into the game.

In a text message to ESPN, the rapper wrote, "They denied me the tix. Didnt want me in their arena. They also said if I do come, I can only sit behind the bench, not on the floor & that I wouldn't be able to get any special escort nor entrance. They said its the 'Oklahoma way'."

The team responded with a statement that Wayne only wanted a front row seat and that they were all taken. Nothing like a little rap drama in two states that celebrate Wynonna Judd more than any rap artist.

For a more in-depth look at the Oklahoma City Thunder, go to Welcome To Loud City. Check out Pounding The Rock for additional news and analysis on the San Antonio Spurs.

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VIDEO: Kevin Durant Dunks Over Tim Duncan In Thunder Win Over Spurs

If the Oklahoma City Thunder want to point to one early play from last night's dominating win over the San Antonio Spurs, look no further than Kevin Durant's monster dunk over Tim Duncan which seemed to establish a tone that OKC was ready to come out with a new intensity against the incredibly steady play of the Spurs. The crowd went crazy and the Thunder never looked back in a win that was ultimately stretched to a 20-point victory.

Duncan finished with 11 points on 5 of 15 shooting and the Spurs suffered from poor shooting all night with a combined 39.5 percentage. Durant on the other hand had 22 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.

Check out the video below to see the best play of the night for OKC:


For a more in-depth look at the Oklahoma City Thunder, go to Welcome To Loud City. Check out Pounding The Rock for additional news and analysis on the San Antonio Spurs.

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Thunder Vs. Spurs Preview: Game Schedule, TV Time, Radio Info

It's only a matter of a few minutes before the Western Conference Finals finally get underway, after several days of rest for both the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Many are referring to the upcoming series as the real NBA Finals, considering just how dominant both of these teams have been compared to really anyone else still alive in the NBA playoffs. Given the state of the Eastern Conference at this point, the description is not that far off.

The Spurs are widely considered to be the favorites, but don't tell that to Tim Duncan and company. Despite the ease with which they are defeating their opponents, no one is foolish enough to look past a team with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka no matter how good they are.

Here's the info you need to catch tonight's game.

Game Date/Time: Sunday, May 27, 7:30 p.m. CT

Series: Tied 0-0

TV: TNT

Radio: Thunder Radio Network

Read more about the Thunder at Welcome To Loud City. For more on the Spurs, check out Pounding The Rock.For more news and notes from around the NBA head over to SB Nation's NBA Basketball page.

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