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Thunder stops Spurs winning streak with Game 3 victory

San Antonio had won 20 consecutive games until Oklahoma City captured their first game in the best-of-seven series Thursday night.


Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (c.) shoots against San Antonio Spurs' Boris Diaw (l.), of France, and Tim Duncan (r.) during the first half of Game 3 in their NBA basketball Western Conference finals playoff series, Thursday, May 31, in Oklahoma City.

Sue Ogrocki/AP

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In a Western Conference finals filled with established stars, Thabo Sefolosha used a stretch of defensive excellence to turn the momentum in the Oklahoma City Thunder's favor and stop a dominant seven-week run by the San Antonio Spurs.

Kevin Durant scored 22 points, Sefolosha set playoff career-bests with 19 points and six steals, and the Thunder snapped San Antonio's 20-game winning streak by beating the Spurs 102-82 in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals on Thursday night.

The Thunder's fears of falling into a historically insurmountable 3-0 series deficit faded quickly as Sefolosha got four steals to power an 8-0 Oklahoma City run in the first 3 minutes and set the tone for San Antonio's worst offensive outing of the season.

"We need everybody to be aggressive and Thabo stepped up tonight and kind of sparked us," Durant said.

Sefolosha, a guard from Switzerland, has been Oklahoma City's defensive ace on the perimeter since coming over in a trade with Chicago midway through the Thunder's first season after relocating from Seattle.

Coach Scott Brooks assigned him to clamp down on All-Star point guard Tony Parker, who had 34 points in Game 2.

"That was Scott's idea. The whole time, we've been thinking about it and we made the adjustment tonight and it worked out good," said Sefolosha, a veteran of the Swiss national team.


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