The San Antonio Spurs dispatched the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6 of the NBA’s Western Conference finals Saturday night, notching a 112-107 overtime win and moving on to the NBA Finals. It is the second-straight year the Spurs are Western Conference champions and the second-straight year they will face the Miami Heat in the finals. And San Antonio’s Tim Duncan wasted no time declaring that, unlike last season, the Spurs were going to win the title this year.
Duncan and the Spurs fell short to the Heat in seven games last year but it was especially painful because San Antonio had a lead late in Game 6. Ray Allen nailed a three-pointer to cap a furious Heat rally and Miami eventually won in overtime. Miami then won Game 7 95-88.
Duncan had the following to say:
“It’s unbelievable to regain that focus after that devastating loss we had last year. But we’re back here. We’re excited about it. We’ve got four more to win. We’ll do it this time.
“We’re happy it’s the Heat again. We’ve got that bad taste in our mouths still.”
This will be the first NBA Finals rematch since the Chicago Bulls faced the Utah Jazz for the second time in 1998.
The Heat are the two-time defending champions and have been in the Finals in four straight years and the fifth time overall. This will be the sixth trip to the finals for San Antonio, which won championships in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007.
The Heat and Spurs split the two games they played this season, but that’s never a good measure of who will take a playoff series. To take down the defending champions, San Antonio will need to get great performances from Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Duncan. That trio must outplay the Heat’s Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Game 1 of the NBA Finals will take place on Thursday night in San Antonio.