Oklahoma City gets even with San Antonio in West final series | NBA playoffs
Ex-Sonic Kevin Durant scored 36 points to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the visiting San Antonio Spurs and even the best-of-seven Western Conference finals at 2-2.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant scored 18 of his 36 points in a scintillating final seven minutes, Serge Ibaka added a career-high 26 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder evened the Western Conference final series at two games apiece by beating the San Antonio Spurs 109-103 Saturday night.
After seeing his team's 15-point lead dwindle to four, former Sonic Durant took over midway through the fourth quarter by scoring all 16 of the Thunder's points during a span of just over five minutes to keep the Spurs at bay.
"I didn't tell myself that I need to go score because what we were doing was working," Durant said. "We were passing the ball and guys were making shots. ... I just wanted to stick with what we were doing, but it started to open up for me and I could see some lanes that gave me some opportunities to make some shots."
With All-Star teammate Russell Westbrook limited to seven points, Durant did almost all of the damage late to send the series back to San Antonio all square for Game 5 Monday night.
"We've just got to go down there with the mindset that we're going to play hard every possession, play together like we've played in these last two games and we'll see what happens," Durant said. "We've just got to keep believing, man, and we'll be fine."
The three-time scoring champion made three straight jumpers, the last one coming after he bumped into Tony Parker in the lane to draw a foul and set up a three-point play. Then he attacked the rim for his next three baskets, getting to the line again when he was fouled on a layup off James Harden's alley-oop pass.
The Thunder had a 102-96 lead and the ball with 1:23 left.
Durant assisted on Harden's three-pointer from the left wing that bumped the lead to nine points.
"We tried to do a couple of different things but his play was better than anything we did defensively, that's for sure," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Durant. "He finished it off in fine fashion."
Durant said, "I just want to be calm and composed and poised in those situations and make the right basketball play."
Oklahoma City is trying to become the 15th team in league history to overcome an 0-2 deficit in a seven-game series.
Tim Duncan scored 21 points for San Antonio.
• Guard Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat faced frequent double teams in a Game 3 loss in Boston and was limited to 18 points.
He vowed to be more effective Sunday in Game 4 as the Heat seeks to take a 3-1 lead in the East final series.
"I'm not coming here crying," Wade said. "I can score the basketball, I've just got to find other ways to do that.
"It might not be a 41-point effort like it was in Indiana, you never know what each game takes, but I'm just going to go out here and play the game that I played for so many years and I will find a way to be effective."