The Spurs couldn’t miss over the final 12 minutes of the game, totaling 39 points, its highest in any quarter during the post season, while connecting on 12-of-16 field goal attempts.
Six different players made a shot from the field in the quarter as San Antonio overcame a nine-point deficit to hand Oklahoma City a 101-98 loss.
Manu Ginobili scored a team-high 26 points, including an and-1 layup with just under two minutes remaining in the contest to put it out of reach for the Thunder.
Both teams received excellent offensive production from their top reserves.
Sixth Man of the Year James Harden connected on a playoff-high five attempts from 3-point range, totaling 19 points, six rebounds and two steals for Oklahoma City.
Harden’s outburst from long range wasn’t enough to hand San Antonio its first loss of the post season.
The Spurs became just the second franchise in NBA history ever to win nine consecutive games to start the playoffs, joining the Lakers, a team that has accomplished the feat on three occasions.
Since a loss to the Lakers on April 11, San Antonio has won 19 consecutive games and has field to scored 100 or more points just twice during the streak.
A triple digit scoring effort seemed highly improbable with the way the Thunder defense was swarming the ball.
Oklahoma City tried to shut down the front court, especially Tim Duncan, holding him to 16 points on 6-of-15 shooting from the field but he did grab 11 rebounds.
Even though the front court didn’t contribute a majority of the points, San Antonio was able to convert near the basket, outscoring the Thunder 50-26 in the paint.
Led by a three block performance from Kevin Durant, his highest since the opening game of the playoffs, Oklahoma City swatted nine shots, forcing the Spurs to find an answer of the perimeter.
The Thunder built a seven point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but the Spurs responded to a demand from Coach of the Year Gregg Popovich.
The result was 39 points on offense and a defensive effort that held Durant without a field goal in the fourth quarter.
Durant finished with a game-high 27 points but wasn’t given an opportunity to continue his late game heroics, as he didn’t attempt a shot during the final two minutes of the contest.
Russell Westbrook added 17 points, but shot just 7-of-21 from the field and committed four turnovers, equaling his total in four games against the Lakers in the previous series.
Despite the poor shooting, Westbrook combined with Harden to score the final 14 Thunder points.
Westbrook overcame an injury scare, falling face first to the ground and using his hands to protect himself as he prepared for impact. The All-Star point guard remained down for about a minute, but came back into the game, insisting he was fine.
San Antonio took the game over during a 21-5 run in the fourth quarter as Parker, Neal and Ginobili combined for 15 points.
The Los Angeles team in 1982 won nine consecutive games to being the post season, while the 1989 and 2001 Lakers rattled off 11 consecutive to open the playoffs.
The Spurs go for their 10th straight playoff win Tuesday night at home.
Duncan, Parker and Ginobili each have led the Spurs in scoring at least twice during the post season, but have dominated even without a single 30-point effort.
The trio makes up the only players averaging double figures in the playoffs for San Antonio but 10 players are playing at least 13 minutes per game.
San Antonio’s balance is exactly what has made it so unpredictable this post season.
The Spurs have already made history this post season, now it stands just three wins away from another trip to the NBA Finals.