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Spurs Bid To Advance

Manu Ginobili and the Spurs will look to close out the Western Conference finals on Saturday as they visit the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Leading the series 3-2, Manu Ginobili and the San Antonio Spurs will look to close out the Western Conference finals on Saturday as they visit the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The San Antonio Spurs will look to dispatch of the Oklahoma City Thunder and advance to the NBA Finals, as the two sides meet in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals on Saturday.

Tip-off at Chesapeake Energy Arena is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET.

In a series that has seen the home team win every game comfortable, the Spurs returned to San Antonio on Thursday and promptly delivered a shellacking to the Thunder.

The game saw Tim Duncan roll back the clock as he shot 8-of-13 for 22 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Manu Ginobili added 19 points off the bench to go alongside 13 from Boris Diaw, while starters Tony Parker, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard all scored in double digits. None played more than 33 minutes in the blowout.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 36 points, Reggie Jackson added 11, but the rest of the Oklahoma City team, despite every player making the scorer’s sheet, was ineffective. The Spurs simply shot the ball better, including going 13-of-26 from beyond the arc, rebounded better, and got to the foul line more.

The 117-89 final was every bit in keeping with how this series has played out so far.

Now leading the best-of-seven series 3-2, the Spurs will look to close out the series and earn a berth in the NBA Finals.

If Gregg Popovich’s side is successful, it will earn a rematch of last year’s NBA Finals, after the Miami Heat secured a fourth straight Eastern Conference title on Friday night.

Of course, the Thunder is looking for its own rematch with the Heat, after losing the 2012 NBA Finals. The side now has two games to make that happen, starting with Saturday’s Game 6.

Durant is one player that has thrived when playing in Game 6. As per The Oklahoman, over his career he has averaged 28.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.1 blocks in six games. Those numbers look distinctly Keven Durant-ish in relation to this season, and he and his team will be looking for the same again.

The Spurs meanwhile will look to buck the trend and score the series’ first (and only) road win, taking what is given and letting which ever player wants to shine shine. That’s how they’ve done it for years: that’s how they’ll do it on Saturday.

In the history of the two franchises, the two sides have played a Game 6 twice, with each side winning one game. The last time the two sides contested a Game 6 was during the 2012 Western Conference finals, a game the Thunder won to advance the finals.

In four previous playoff series, there has never been a Game 7 between the sides, although the Spurs did defeat the then-Seattle SuperSonics in a decisive Game 5 during the first round of the 2002 NBA playoffs.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder odds for 05/31/2014

Oklahoma City (-156) opened as the favorite over San Antonio (+141) on the moneyline.

Home court advantage has played a huge role in this series, something the Thunder hopes will continue for this next game at least. The Thunder has defeated the Spurs in five straight at home, and in 12 of the last 17 head-to-head matchups on either floor.

The spread opened at 3 and has risen as high as 4 with some sportsbooks.

The Spurs (8-9-0 ATS) have struggled against the spread for much of the postseason but have covered three times in this series. However, the side is just 1-7-0 ATS in its last eight road games and, more alarmingly, is a miserable 4-12-1 ATS in its last 17 visits to Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The over/under opened at 206.5.

Both San Antonio (8-9-0) and Oklahoma City (8-10-0) have favored the under this season, a result of each of the last four games of this series seeing the total go under.

The Thunder’s last five home games against the Spurs have all seen the under pay out, as have five of the last six head-to-head meetings all told.

If Oklahoma City manages to hold home court, the two sides will travel to San Antonio for a decisive Game 7 on Monday (9:00 p.m. ET).

For a full list of upcoming NBA Playoffs odds, click here.

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