OKLAHOMA CITY -- The usually composed Spurs briefly broke character during their 105-92 loss to the Thunder in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals, as Tim Duncan and coach Gregg Popovich exchanged words during a second-half break in play.
With a little less than eight minutes remaining in the third quarter and the Thunder leading 66-49, Duncan and Popovich could be seen yelling loudly at each other in front of San Antonio's bench at the beginning of a timeout. Duncan gestured with his arms during his back-and-forth with Popovich before appearing to yell in the direction of Danny Green.
Roughly two minutes later, Popovich waved the white flag by pulling the plug on his starters. Oklahoma City would build a 27-point lead before cruising to the victory.
Asked about the exchange during his post-game press conference, Popovich predictably sidestepped the issue.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Popovich replied, when asked whether there was a "miscommunication" with Duncan. "What do you mean miscommunication?"
Asked a second time about the exchange, Popovich again responded: "I don't have any idea what you're talking about."
Oklahoma City's victory evened the series at two games apiece, with Game 5 set for the AT&T Center in San Antonio on Thursday.
Duncan told reporters afterwards that the Thunder's defensive aggressiveness was a key factor in Game 4, and that Spurs can't expect their home-court advantage to carry them past the Thunder in Game 5.
"[Going home] not going to settle things down," Duncan said. "We have to make it happen.We fight all year to have this home-court advantage, so it’s cliché. It’s a three-game series now. We play two of them at home at least."
San Antonio is 8-1 at home during the postseason and scored blowout victories in Games 1 and 2 against Oklahoma City.
Russell Westbrook led Oklahoma City in Game 4 with 40 points (on 12-for-24 shooting), 10 assists, five rebounds and five steals. Kevin Durant added 31 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals in the win.
Tony Parker led the Spurs with 14 points (on 7-for-12 shooting), two rebounds and two steals. Duncan finished with nine points (on 3-for-8 shooting) and six rebounds in a losing effort. Video via YouTube user Ashok Gamer