His statistics were fairly modest, but Diaw’s heady play and nonstop energy propelled the Spurs to a 117-89 victory over the
Diaw helped the Spurs get back to their brand of basketball after a pair of sluggish defeats. They will take a 3-2 lead into Game 6 on Saturday in Oklahoma City, where the Thunder has defeated the Spurs nine consecutive times.
Diaw finished with 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and one blocked shot, his strong play in the second quarter prompting San Antonio Coach
With the Spurs comfortably ahead, Westbrook sat out the game's final 8 minutes 50 seconds, joining Durant on the bench.
Popovich was in classic deadpan mode before the game when asked how his team could stop the Thunder from running like it did in Game 4, when it outscored the Spurs, 21-0, in transition points.
"Make more baskets," Popovich said. "Don't turn it over. Those would be two good places to start."
San Antonio did both. The Spurs committed only 12 turnovers and made 39 of 76 shots (51.3%), including 13 of 26 (50%) from beyond the three-point arc.
They got back to traditional Spurs basketball in the second quarter, with an unexpected twist: the 32-year-old Diaw serving as one of the primary facilitators.