No. 1 Spurs @ No. 2 Thunder
Now that we have surpassed the three-week mark where the NBA, and sports in general, have been off the air and out of sight, something new The Franchise will be offering is a look back on historical and memorable games coinciding with the current day as we present “On This Day in Thunder History.”
Today, we will take it back to the 2013-14 season, which as Thunder fans are well aware of was Kevin Durant’s MVP season, served as Steven Adams’ first season in the NBA, and the Thunder, in my opinion, had one of the strongest and most destructive rosters of its time residing in Oklahoma City.
April 3, 2014 – 18,203 fans filled the seats of Chesapeake Energy Arena. This served as the 153rd consecutive sellout for the Peake. The Thunder entered this matchup at 54-19, while the Spurs led the Western Conference at 59-16.
This game was huge as the Thunder sat at the No. 2 seed just a few games above the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Spurs were dominating the league led by Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard. The Thunder, however, was in good hands as Kevin Durant was leading the league in scoring.
- Kevin Durant F
- Serge Ibaka F
- Kendrick Perkins C
- Andre Roberson G
- Russell Westbrook G
- Kawhi Leonard F
- Tim Duncan F
- Tiago Splitter C
- Danny Green G
- Tony Parker G
Kawhi Leonard got things going for the Spurs early on intercepting a pass from Roberson to Durant on the Thunder’s first possession of the game slamming it down for a one-handed dunk and putting SAS on the board first.
The Spurs outshot the Thunder 47 percent compared to OKC’s 36 percent where Tim Duncan led with eight points and Kawhi Leonard’s six points matched Danny Green’s six. Westbrook led the Thunder with seven, while KD had six going 0-2 from downtown.
Spurs lead 24-22.
Patty Mills and Boris Diaw set the tone for the Spurs early on to keep San Antonio’s pace steady and give them an 11-point lead at one time over the Thunder. Mills picks up 10 points in the second quarter alone on 4-4 shooting, 2-2 from deep, and Diaw goes 3-3 for six of his own.
The Thunder dig a bit of a hole with three turnovers, but KD and Westbrook keep their team in the game combining for 13 points, and Nick Collison takes over at center with four points on perfect shooting from the paint and at the charity stripe.
Spurs lead 51-48 at halftime.
Remember those abysmal third quarters, Thunder fans? Well, that was far from true with this team in 2014 as Kevin Durant came out firing for OKC with 12 points on 6-9 shooting to push the Thunder ahead by 12 and outscore the Spurs 32-20. Serge Ibaka came alive as well knocking down six point on 3-3 shooting, while Derek Fisher backed up Westbrook’s six points with three of his own.
Tim Duncan picked up fire from the free throw line to aid the Spurs with seven points to assist Leonard’s five, but the Spurs lost their first-half drive that they would never see again for the remainder of the game.
Thunder leads 80-71.
Reggie Jackson came up big for the Thunder to close out the game as Westbrook took a seat with a little more than six minutes left in the game and 27 points. Jackson put up seven points on 3-5 shooting and three rebounds to keep the Thunder on top of the Spurs until the final buzzer.
Patty Mills picked up eight more points in Q4 to finish with a team-high 21 points, and Tiago Splitter, along with Jeff Ayres, relieved Tim Duncan for the entire final quarter combining for only two points.
Thunder wins 106-94.
Kevin Durant: 28 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists
Russell Westbrook: 27 points, 1 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals
Reggie Jackson: 14 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
Patty Mills: 21 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist
Kawhi Leonard: 17 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
Tim Duncan: 17 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks
FANS MAY REMEMBER:
With this win, OKC ended a 19-game winning streak for the Spurs as Kevin Durant climbed closer to catching Michael Jordan’s 40-game streak of scoring at least 25 points. This would be Durant’s 39th consecutive game as he finished with 28.
Fans may also remember this game as the matchup where Nick Collison took himself off the court with a face full of blood after getting knocked on top of the head while fighting for a defensive rebound.
The Spurs would go on to defeat the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals 4-2 and win an NBA title defeating the Miami Heat in the Finals at 4-1.
The Thunder finished the season 59-23 and crowned Kevin Durant as the league’s MVP, while San Antonio finished 62-20 with an NBA Championship title – This would be the Spurs’ fifth and final (for now) NBA title.