Spurs oust Thunder, set up rematch with Heat

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Tim Duncan No. 21 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots over Serge Ibaka No. 9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second half during Game Six of the Western Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. AFP PHOTO

Tim Duncan No. 21 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots over Serge Ibaka No. 9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second half during Game Six of the Western Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. AFP PHOTO

OKLAHOMA CITY: Tim Duncan scored seven of his 19 points in overtime as San Antonio beat Oklahoma City 112-107 in game six on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) to set up an NBA finals rematch with the Miami Heat.Duncan also added 15 assists and power forward Boris Diaw came off the bench to score 26 points for the Spurs, who won the Western Conference final series four games to two.

“This victory is really sweet because we know we played one helluva team,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

San Antonio will host the first game of the National Basketball Association finals on Thursday (Friday in Manila) against the two-time defending champion Heat, who beat them in seven games last season.

Miami defeated the Indiana Pacers 117-92 Friday to win the other league semi-final in six games and punch their ticket to their fourth straight finals. The Heat will be well rested for game one having had five days off.


This is the first NBA finals rematch since the Chicago Bulls battled the Utah Jazz in 1997 and 1998.

The Spurs won Saturday despite playing the second half without star guard Tony Parker, who played just 19 minutes before leaving the game with a foot injury.

Kawhi Leonard finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds and reserve Manu Ginobili scored 15 points for the Spurs, who hope to take advantage of home court during the series with Miami.

The Heat won last year, but San Antonio is looking forward to redemption. They have won four titles since Duncan joined forces with Popovich in Texas.

“It is unbelievable to have regained our focus after that devastating loss last year,” said Duncan. “We’ve got that bad taste in our mouth from last time.”

Kevin Durant finished with 31 points and 14 rebounds for the Thunder, who had their nine-game home win streak against San Antonio snapped.

Russell Westbrook scored 34 points and had eight assists while Reggie Jackson finished with 21 points for Oklahoma City, who staved off elimination two times previously in these playoffs.

“We settled for too many jump shots and we turned the ball over,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “Defensively they had us scrambling around. And they made some big plays.”

AFP

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