June 4, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) is fouled by San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) during the second half in game five of the Western Conference finals of the 2012 NBA playoffs at the AT

Thunder-Spurs Western Conference Finals: Is Game 6 a must-win for the Thunder?


Brendan Maloney-US PRESSWIRE

The Oklahoma City Thunder broke through last night in the Western Conference Finals winning Game 5 on the road in San Antonio 108-103 to take a 3-2 series advantage.

The Thunder have won the past three games of this series after losing Games 1 and 2 on the road.

The Thunder will have a chance to close out the Spurs at home Wednesday night in Game 6. But what if they don’t? Could they win again in San Antonio in a Game 7?

The Thunder have been playing with their backs against the wall in this series ever since losing the first game. It was an unfamiliar place for this team but they have fought back and bought themselves a little bit of breathing room.

In a sense, they have two chances to win one game. But winning at home seems so much more likely. But then doesn’t it also feel unlikely that the Thunder would beat the Spurs in four straight games essentially sweeping them?

The good news for Thunder fans is that this team doesn’t take games off, ever. They never threw in the towel in a game in the regular season and they’ve proven it in the playoffs as well with impressive comeback victories over Dallas and the Lakers.

We know the Spurs aren’t going to roll over and die either. Game 5 was supposed to be their best shot of coming out and winning again in this series but it didn’t happen.

The Spurs made adjustments that worked somewhat but not enough. They’ll try and figure out the Thunder again on the road in Game 6 but it won’t be easy for them.

The Thunder have the best home crowd and home court advantage in the entire NBA. This is pretty much a fact by now. Role players always play better at home and this is certainly the case with the Thunder’s as well.

Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins played huge roles in the Thunder winning Game 4 of this series. Ibaka went 11-for-11 with 26 points and Perkins added 15 points.

They disappeared somewhat on the road last night. It was Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden that saved the day in Game 5.

The Thunder are their best team at home and that’s what we will see tomorrow night. This series has pitted the two best teams in the league right now playing the best basketball and it has been any basketball fan’s dream come true.

The Spurs will give it their best shot too. What will that add up to? The Thunder have proven they are the more talented team with the higher ceiling when playing well.

And they don’t lose at home.

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