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2012 NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Finals Preview – San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Spurs _ Thunder
Ronald Martinez, Harry How / Getty Images

The top two seeds in the West have both advanced to the Western Conference finals, with the winner of this series heading to the NBA Finals. Here’s a preview of the best-of-seven series between the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder:

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (2) Oklahoma City Thunder

With four NBA titles already on his resume, San Antonio forward Tim Duncan is closing in on a fifth ring. Behind his 17.6 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, the Spurs are 8-0 in this postseason after sweeping both the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers. Coach Gregg Popovich’s team has won 18 games in a row overall.

Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant may be the best player in the NBA right now. He has averaged 26.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game as the Thunder rolled past Dallas, 4-0, and the Lakers, 4-1. Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard will need help to defend against Durant on the wings.

San Antonio’s Tony Parker will be counted on to match the athletic nature of his Oklahoma City counterpart Russell Westbrook, who is averaging 24.1 points per game in the playoffs. Both men are among the league’s elite point guards. Spurs’ center Boris Diaw will also be expected to muscle up against Thunder center Kendrick Perkins and power forward Serge Ibaka. San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili has been a great scorer off the bench for the Spurs, however Oklahoma City head coach Scott Brooks can counter him with NBA Sixth Man of the Year James Harden.

The Spurs won the regular season series between the teams, 2-1, and they have home court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs. Game 1 is Sunday in San Antonio at 8:30 p.m. (TV – TNT). See the full series schedule.

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