[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Oklahoma City Thunder, superbly led by inspirational All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant on their home court, outplayed the San Antonio Spurs 105-92 in Game Four of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday.
Dynamic guard Westbrook contributed a game-high 40 points and 10 assists while league MVP Durant weighed in with 31 points on 11-of-22 shooting as the second-seeded Thunder evened up the best-of-seven series at 2-2.
The top-seeded Spurs, aiming for a return to the NBA Finals after losing to the Miami Heat in five games last year, were outshot by 49 percent to 40 from the field.
Point guard Tony Parker and Boris Diaw, off the bench, led the way for San Antonio with 14 points each but veteran All-Star forward Tim Duncan was held to just nine points on three-of-eight shooting.
“I think I did all right,” a smiling Westbrook told Turner Network Television in a courtside interview after a stellar display that also included five steals. “Coming out with a win is most important.
“I just try to come out and give maximum effort. My team mates ask that of me and that’s what I was trying to do at both ends of the floor.”
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich applauded the performances produced by Westbrook and Durant, but felt his team had paid the price for not being aggressive enough.
“I thought they (Westbrook and Durant) did a great job,” he said. “They are great players, and that’s what they do. I was disappointed in our physicality.”
Meanwhile, the NBA fined Indiana Pacers forward Paul George $25,000 on Tuesday for his public criticism of the officiating in the Eastern Conference finals Game 4 loss to Miami.
Rod Thorn, the league’s president of basketball operations, said George made his comments in the postgame news conference following the 102-90 loss to the Heat on Monday night.
Miami was 30-of-34 from the foul line in the game. Indiana was 11-of-17.George said his team couldn’t overcome a “20-point differential” that came through foul calls. He said Miami won the game at the free-throw line.
Miami leads the series 3-1 and can advance to the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year with a win in Indiana on Wednesday night.