Scoring half of his points in the fourth quarter Saturday night against San Antonio, Kevin Durant continues to elevate his stature as a superstar in the NBA. In the process, he carried Oklahoma City to a 109-103 Game 4 victory that tied the Western Conference finals at 2-2.
The Thunder led by 15 points in the third quarter, but watched the Spurs rally to cut it to four in the final minutes of the fourth period. That’s when Durant put his stamp on the proceedings. He scored on a pull up jumper. He scored in the lane. He scored on an alley-oop dunk and on and on.
By the time he was done Oklahoma City was up by 1o inside the final minute, which was enough of a cushion to secure the victory. Durant had 18 of his 36 points in the fourth — 16 straight at one point — as OKC won its home games after losing both in San Antonio, where Game 5 will take place on Monday night.
Durant was the catalyst late, but forward Serge Ibaka was the steadying force all night. The NBA’s leader in shot blocks, Ibaka showed his best offensive game ever, scoring 26 points while not missing on 11 shots, many of them perimeter jumpers. On top of that, center Kendrick Perkins had 15 points and nine rebounds.
For the Spurs, they have not dropped two straight after a 20-game winning streak was snapped in Game 3. The effective play of Tony Parker (12 points and Manu Ginobili (13) have been minimized. Tim Duncan had 21 points and eight rebounds, but the OKC big men were dominant.