Friday, Apr 24, 2015Friday, Apr 24, 2015

Basketball: Evergreen Tim Duncan shines in overtime as Spurs reach NBA Finals again

Published on Jun 1, 2014 4:19 PM
San Antonio Spurs' forward Tim Duncan #21 drives against Oklahoma City Thunder centre Kendrick Perkins #5 in Game Six of the Western Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 31, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Spurs defeated the Thunder in a thrilling 112-107 overtime victory to advance to the NBA Finals and a championship rematch against the Miami Heat. -- PHOTO: AFP

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - The San Antonio Spurs dug deep to score a thrilling 112-107 overtime victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday to advance to the NBA Finals and a championship rematch against the Miami Heat.

With point guard Tony Parker sitting out the second half owing to a sore ankle, the visiting Spurs relied on their deep bench before turning to evergreen power forward Tim Duncan in overtime to clinch a win that gave them the Western Conference finals series 4-2.

A frantic comeback keyed by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook allowed Oklahoma City to erase a 12-point deficit early in the fourth quarter, with two free throws by Westbrook tying the game 101-101 at the end of regulation. The tight struggle broke the pattern of the series, which had seen the home team win comfortably over the first five games by an average victory margin of 20 points.

Duncan, however, made it comfortable for San Antonio at the end, scoring seven points in a row in the closing minutes of overtime after trailing 105-103, receiving the ball down low and delivering a master lesson on post-up basketball to premier shot blocker Serge Ibaka.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!