Adams helps Thunder pull off crucial win

Steven Adams tries to make a block against 14-time All Star Tim Duncan.
Steven Adams tries to make a block against 14-time All Star Tim Duncan.

New Zealand rookie Steven Adams has helped Oklahoma City to a decisive 106-97 win over San Antonio in game three of the NBA's Western Conference finals today.

Adams, 20, played 28 minutes and contributed mightily with seven points, nine rebounds and four blocks as the Thunder reduced the series deficit to 2-1.

San Antonio had thrashed the Thunder in games one and two but Serge Ibaka's return from injury proved inspirational.

The Spurs power forward Tim Duncan attempts a shot against Steven Adams in the third quarter.
The Spurs power forward Tim Duncan attempts a shot against Steven Adams in the third quarter.

Power forward Ibaka, who missed the first two games with a calf injury, had 15 points, seven rebounds and four blocks, and provided some badly needed defensive steel.

Adams looked comfortable throughout - apart from at the free throw line where he connected with just three of seven attempts.

The Kiwi again proved more effective than starting centre Kendrick Perkins, who was plagued by foul problems.

The winner of the best-of-seven series advances to the NBA Finals against either Miami or Indiana.

While the Spurs hold home advantage and are still strong favourites to claim the series, Ibaka's return has set up a fascinating game four in Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook had a mixed shooting night but still led all scorers with 26 points, while league MVP Kevin Durant chimed in with 25.

Manu Ginobili led the Spurs with 23 but the Argentine veteran was shut down in the second half by a swarming Thunder defence.

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