Thunder lead series 3-2
The Oklahoma City Thunder are one victory away from reaching the Western Conference finals and have two opportunities to get the job done. The Thunder, who lead the series 3-2, aim to end the festivities in Thursday’s Game 6, while the San Antonio Spurs visit town in dire need of a victory to force a Game 7.
San Antonio has held double-digit leads in the each of the past two games before wilting under Oklahoma City’s late-game siege. “I hope we respond a little angry, with a chip on our shoulder,” Spurs guard Danny Green told reporters after Tuesday’s 95-91 loss. “If you want to be a championship team, you have to win on the road. Simple as that.” The Thunder surprisingly have won two games in San Antonio in the series – the Spurs lost just once at home during the regular season – and small forward Kevin Durant said another defensive effort like the showing in Game 5 is crucial. “Late in the fourth we did a good job of putting a hand up on shots, making them shoot mid-range and we didn’t let them get in the paint a lot.” Durant told reporters. “That’s what we have to do if we want to win the next one. We have to play defense like that throughout the whole game.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT
LINE HISTORY: The Thunder opened as 3-point home pups, but bettors like the way OKC has been trending and the line has already moved to +1.5. The total has been bet up one point from 194.5 to 195.5. Check out the complete line history here.
ABOUT THE SPURS (73-18, 49-42 ATS, 38-51-2 O/U): NBA MVP runner-up Kawhi Leonard (26 points, five steals in Game 5) and power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (20 points, nine rebounds) have carried San Antonio during the series with occasional help from shooting guard Danny Green (six 3-pointers in Game 5) and point guard Tony Parker (good outings in Game 3 and 4). But the reserves have been below par and combined for just 11 points on 5-of-18 shooting in Game 5 and getting better efforts from players such as shooting guard Manu Ginobili and center Boris Diaw are a must if San Antonio is to win the next two games. “We haven’t had great bench production,” Popovich said after Game 5. “We need a couple more people to help us offensively. That would be great.”
ABOUT THE THUNDER (62-30, 43-48-1 ATS, 44-48 O/U): Point guard Russell Westbrook had 35 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in Game 5 and was so superb that everybody overlooked his eight turnovers. “He plays with such force and such passion,” Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan told reporters. “I think he’s doing a really good job of realizing when he gets so intense, so competitive, so emotional, he’s doing a good job of kind of bringing himself back together and understanding there’s four other guys out there depending on him.” Durant scored 23 points on a series-worst 8-of-21 shooting effort in a dropoff from his spectacular 41-point effort in Game 4.
* Thunder are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games versus a team with a winning SU record.
* Spurs are 3-12 ATS in the last 15 meetings in Oklahoma City.
* Under is 4-0 in Spurs last four games following a SU loss.
* Under is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings in Oklahoma City.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The public is split almost down the middle for this huge Game 6, with 51 percent of wagers on the underdog Thunder. As for the total, 61 percent of wagers are on the Over.
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