OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant scored 22 points, Thabo Sefolosha set playoff career-bests with 19 points and six steals, and the Oklahoma City Thunder snapped San Antonio’s 20-game winning streak by beating the Spurs 102-82 in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals on Thursday night.
Oklahoma City closed its series deficit to 2-1 and will host Game 4 on Saturday night.
Sefolosha threw a wrench in the Spurs’ well-oiled offense at the start, getting four steals in the first 3 minutes. The Spurs ended up committing a postseason-worst 21 turnovers and scoring their least points all season.
Tony Parker and Stephen Jackson led the Spurs with 16 points apiece. Tim Duncan had 11 points on 5-for-15 shooting, taking 11 of San Antonio’s first 25 shots as the offense went through the All-Star center instead of Parker.
HEAT-CELTICS: Miami knows what’s coming from Boston.
“Their all,” Dwyane Wade said.
The Eastern Conference Finals shift to Boston tonight for Game 3, with the Heat holding a 2-0 lead after staving off perhaps the Celtics’ best shot to win a classic. Only 14 teams in NBA history have rallied from an 0-2 hole to win a best-of-seven series, and the Celtics haven’t done it since 1969.
Wade and LeBron James don’t need to be reminded that a two-game lead in a series doesn’t guarantee much of anything. Wade led a Heat comeback from a 2-0 series deficit against Dallas in the 2006 NBA finals. James rallied his Cleveland team from two games down to win the Eastern Conference crown a year later against Detroit.
Don’t tell them this series is over. They know better.
“All we did was win two at home,” Wade said. “That’s a very good team over there that we know is going to give us everything come the next four days when they get two at homee in Boston.”
Rivers said the Celtics believe they’re getting closer to figuring out how to beat Miami.
His team seems to agree.
“I’m not concerned at all,” Allen said. “After the game I think that everybody was, I say everybody was in good spirits, but at the same time we were disappointed. We were upset.”
Rivers knows there are tons of questions about the future of the Celtics, especially if they lose a one-sided series to Miami for the second straight year. The Heat needed five games to oust Boston in last season’s East semifinals.
He dismissed all the what-happens-next talk, saying that if the Heat fall in this series, they’ll likely see some major roster turnover as well. For now, he’s locked in on just taking the memory of Game 2 and trying to get back on track in Game 3.
“You don’t throw it away,” Rivers said. “You hold onto it for 24 hours, and then you move on. We’ve been really good at that. We have no choice in the matter. We play at home on Friday. You know, listen, it’s corny, but they’ve won two games at home, and now we go to a place that we’re very comfortable in, and we have to win two games at home. And then we’ll see from there.”