Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs - 5/27/14 Game 4
San Antonio Spurs (62-20) at Oklahoma City Thunder (59-23)
NBA Basketball: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 9:00 pm (Chesapeake Energy Arena)
The Line: Oklahoma City Thunder -2.5 -- Over/Under: 208 See the Latest Odds
The Oklahoma City Thunder look to level the series against the San Antonio Spurs tonight in Game 4.
After getting completely trounced by the Spurs in the first two games, the Thunder needed to find their way into the series and they got that via Serge Ibaka. Russell Westbrook led the scoring with 26 points while Kevin Durant added 25, but this game was all about the effect that Ibaka had on his team's defense. Though he had a modest totals of 15 points, seven rebounds and four blocks, Ibaka's rim-protecting ability allowed the Thunder's guards to gamble on the perimeter and sprint out to shooters with the knowledge that they still have the league's best shot blocker behind them. Add to that, the fact that coach Brooks made a gutsy move of inserting Reggie Jackson into the starting lineup and it looks like the Thunder just might have the winning formula to take down the Spurs and level the series.
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Speaking of the Spurs, Manu Ginobili made six threes to finish with a team-high 23 points off the bench, but it was all in vain as the rest of the team struggled for any offensive flow. Tim Duncan had a decent night of 16 points, but Tony Parker and Danny Green combined for just 17 points on seven of 25 shooting after combining for 43 points in game 2. OK, Green has been pretty sporadic in his scoring (and playing time) all season, but I expect Parker to watch plenty of game tape and bounce back tonight. Overall, the Spurs may have been lulled into a false sense of security following two straight blowouts, but if they match the Thunder's intensity, I expect coach Popovic to make the necessary adjustments to get the valuable Game 4 win tonight.
In terms of trends, the Spurs are still only 3-11-1 ATS in the last 15 meetings overall and 0-8 ATS in the last eight in Oklahoma City, but I'm going against the trend and taking the Spurs to win this one and take a 3-1 lead back home.