The NBA playoffs have provided deja vu in recent days. First the 2014 NBA playoffs looked to end the same way as the last postseason, with the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat meeting in the finals. Then when the Oklahoma City Thunder erased a 2-0 conference final deficit to the Spurs, it looked exactly the same as two postseasons ago for both clubs. But on May 29, the pattern of two years ago finally ended, as the Spurs did what they couldn't before and blew out the Thunder by 117-89 in Game 5 at home.
After a high scoring first quarter where both teams had 32 points, the Spurs began to break it open in the second. San Antonio hadn't beaten Oklahoma City in this series, let along this entire season, with Serge Ibaka on the floor. Yet Ibaka was contained throughout in Game 5, as he went 3-for-10 for just six points and left Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to carry the Thunder.
Nothing could carry them over the Spurs after halftime, however. Like in every single game of this series, the home team pulled away at the start of the second half and put things out of reach by the fourth quarter. In this case, San Antonio did it by shooting 51.3 percent from the floor, with six players in double figures and Tim Duncan leading the way with 22 points.
With this win, the NBA playoffs are no longer a repeat of 2012, at least for the Spurs and Thunder. Now that the Thunder haven't stolen Game 5 at San Antonio this time, and are no longer perfect in this series with Ibaka, the Spurs have two fewer demons to conquer. With one more win, San Antonio may be able to conquer its demons from 2013, provided that Miami joins it in the finals.
But since the home team has won every game in this series in a blowout, the Thunder are still in a good position for Game 6 at Oklahoma City on May 31. Yet since they would have to go back to San Antonio for Game 7, the Spurs can still feel pretty comfortable.