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Gregg Popovich .

Gregg Popovich says the series is not over despite San Antonio's game five loss

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The Oklahoma City Thunder took the Western Conference semi-final series edge, 3-2, with another excellent fourth quarter and have pushed the San Antonio Spurs to the brink of an early playoff exit. 

The series now shifts to Oklahoma where the Thunder can finish it off, along with possibly Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili's careers, on Thursday night. 

When asked how much credit Thunder coach, Billy Donovan, deserved for the outcome so far, Spurs coach, Gregg Popovich, said simply and incredulously: "I didn't know the series was over."

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It may be an uphill battle for San Antonio but the longest-tenured NBA coach knows the Spurs' fate is far from set. After all, the home team played well in the game for stretches and even held a 13-point lead five minutes into the second quarter.

But the Thunder hung around and played hard, perceptively harder than the home team for much of the game, to get back into it and in a position to take the contest during the final period. 

Despite the Spurs losing the fourth quarter 26-19, Popovich took some positives away from the loss, saying: "Well it's not like we got beat by 30. The game went down to the wire, so both teams played very well, I didn't think anything got away from us." 

If the Spurs are going to push the series back to San Antonio for a game seven, they're going to need some help from their bench, a group that has really struggled in the series. On Tuesday night, every member of the five-man bench unit finished with a negative plus/minus and combined to go 5-of-18 from the field. 

Conversely, every starter for San Antonio finished with a positive plus/minus. This was not lost on Popovich, who responded to a question about the bench with an answer that was more than a little on-the-nose: "Well, we haven't had great bench production. We need a couple more people to help us offensively. That'd be great."

The Spurs haven't gotten a full-team effort since the first game of the series and if they want to see a deciding game, they're going to need more than two players to step up for them in Thursday night's outing.

But with the possibility that game six could possibly, just maybe, be Duncan and Ginobili's last, expect the team to rally behind their two aging legends and prove Popovich right about the series not being over. 

Topics:
San Antonio Spurs
Southwest Division
Western Conference
NBA
Tim Duncan
NBA Playoffs
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Manu Ginobili

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