NBA: Westbrook helps Thunder beat Spurs to take 3-2 lead

Russell Westbrook scored 35 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder fought back to stun the San Antonio Spurs 95-91 and take a 3-2 series lead in its Western Conference semifinal playoff series on Tuesday.

Russell Westbrook finished with 11 rebounds and nine assists in addition to his 35-point haul.   -  AP

Russell Westbrook scored 35 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder fought back to stun the San Antonio Spurs 95-91 and take a 3-2 series lead in its Western Conference semifinal playoff series on Tuesday. Oklahoma City had trailed by as many as 13 points at one point as the Spurs looked to seize the initiative in front of its home crowd at the AT&T Center.

But a scintillating fourth-quarter fightback transformed the contest, and it now means the Thunder can clinch a series victory back in Oklahoma City in Thursday's game six.





San Antonio appeared to be headed for victory after Kawhi Leonard punished a sloppy Thunder pass to put the Spurs 88-82 ahead with just over four minutes remaining. However, Leonard's basket became the cue for an eight-point run from Oklahoma City, who edged clear of its rivals.

Oklahoma City's Enes Kanter played a key role, hitting a layup and then blocking the Spurs' Tim Duncan before running the length of the court to collect from Westbrook to hit another layup that put the Thunder up 90-88. San Antonio's Tony Parker tied the game with a jump shot to make it 90-90, but two free throws from Kevin Durant restored Oklahoma City's two-point lead at 92-90.

Parker could have tied but instead missed one of two free throws to make it 92-91. The French star then missed a jumper with just over nine seconds remaining. Westbrook gathered and converted a layup while being fouled before adding a free throw with 6.3 seconds on the clock to effectively clinch the win.

Westbrook only narrowly missed out on yet another triple-double, finishing with 11 rebounds and nine assists in addition to his 35-point haul. Kevin Durant was the next highest scorer for Oklahoma City, chipping in with 23 points with six rebounds and five assists.

Leonard was top scorer for San Antonio with 26 points, followed by LaMarcus Aldridge and Danny Green, who both finished with 20 points each. But it was a disappointing night for veterans Parker and Tim Duncan. Parker had nine points while Duncan finished with five after 32 minutes on court.

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