Los Angeles (AFP) – 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 their Western Conference semi-final playoff series.
Oklahoma City had trailed by as much as 13 points at one point as the Spurs looked to seize the initiative in front of their home crowd at the AT&T Center.
But a scintillating fourth quarter fightback transformed the contest and 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 was the cue for an eight-point run from Oklahoma City who forged into a 90-88 lead.
Thunder just managed to keep their noses in front as the clock wound down and when Tony Parker missed a long-range effort with just over nine seconds left the visitors were all but assured of 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.