San Antonio’s Tony Parker sank a 21-foot jumper as time expired and the Spurs won a thrilling reprise of last season’s Western Conference finals, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 86-84 on Thursday.
Parker scored the last of his 14 points while Serge Ibaka — the NBA’s leading shot-blocker last season — ran at him full steam.
The All-Star guard calmly swished a long jumper from the left wing before breaking into a long, sustained scream while his teammates mobbed him.
Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant led all scorers with 23 points and began his sixth NBA season by becoming the second-youngest player behind LeBron James to reach 10,000 career points.
Durant, however, stood frozen under the basket for several seconds after Parker’s shot before walking off the court.
Throw in the trade that sent James Harden to Houston, and it was the second Thunder stunner this week.
Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 20 points and eight rebounds. Parker also had 11 assists and hit a three-pointer with 28 seconds left that tied the game and set up his buzzer-beater on the next possession.
Durant also had 14 rebounds. Russell Westbrook scored 18 points, but made a poor pass on the Thunder’s final possession that gave the ball back to the Spurs with 5.9 seconds left, giving Parker plenty of time to set and release his shot.
Thursday’s other scheduled game between the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks was postponed due to the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy.