Tim Duncan scored 27 points and the San Antonio Spurs took advantage of Serge Ibaka’s absence to dominate the paint, beating the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder, 122-105, on Monday night in the opener of the Western Conference finals.
Manu Ginobili added 18 points and Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green had 16 points each. Tony Parker did not appear limited by a hamstring injury, scoring 14 points and having 12 asssists.
Kevin Durant scored 28 points and Russell Westbrook added 25. Oklahoma City’s remaining starters, Nick Collison, Thabo Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins combined to score five points.
The Thunder struggled without the defensive presence of Ibaka, who will miss the remainder of the postseason after suffering a calf injury in the Thunder’s series clincher against the Los Angeles Clippers.
San Antonio had 66 points in the paint and shot 58 percent from the field.
●STERLING HEARING SET: The NBA charged Donald Sterling with damaging the league and its teams by making racist comments, setting up a hearing planned for June 3 after which owners could vote to terminate his ownership of the Clippers.
The league also said the banned owner has engaged in other conduct that has impaired its relationship with fans and merchandising partners.
Sterling was banned for life and fined $2.5 million by Commissioner Adam Silver after the release of a recording in which he made racist remarks. He has until May 27 to respond to the charge.
If three-fourths of the owners vote to sustain the charge, Sterling will be forced to sell the franchise he has owned since 1981.
● GRIZZLIES: Memphis parted with team CEO Jason Levien, a D.C. United co-owner, and director of player personnel Stu Lash in a front-office shake-up.