They fought all year for this opportunity. This moment of redemption. This opportunity to win a title once again.
Game Six still haunts the Spurs. You could see it in Tim Duncan’s response to a David Aldridge question about playing the Heat once again: This time they are going to do it.
Rarely, teams get a chance for redemption in the NBA’s highest stage: the NBA Finals. It has not happened since the 1998 Finals with the Bulls facing the Jazz. We will get to those as we get set for Thursday’s Game One.
For now, the Spurs did what they needed to do. Even with Tony Parker missing the second half with a sore left ankle. Even with the fact the Spurs had been blown out in two previous trips to Oklahoma City in this series. This was going to be the Spurs statement.
A halftime deficit was gone quickly with Cory Joseph taking the reigns. The Thunder came back and forced overtime. The balance and execution won out over Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s assault on the basket. That matters in a seven-game series, I guess.
San Antonio got 26 points off the bench from Boris Diaw. Yes, that Boris Diaw. Tim Duncan added 19 points and 15 rebounds. The Spurs pulled together once again.
The Thunder got 34 points from Russell Westbrook and 31 from Kevin Durant. They forced overtime and extended their season five more minutes. But down three points, Durant missed a 3-pointer. And then down four, Westbrook flung a wild 3-pointer over the backboard.
Scott Brooks took out his stars for one more appreciative applause. The Spurs mastery is simply too breathtaking. And they have one more series to go.