Which team will win the series, which starts Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET, is anyone’s guess.
But the folks at 2K Sports offered their educated prediction.
The “NBA 2K12″ team will be running simulations for ESPN.com throughout the rest of the NBA playoffs, starting with today’s simulation of the highly anticipated Spurs-Thunder series.
Here’s a hint: One of the teams wins in five games. But which one? Click below to see what happened (or perhaps, what will happen) in 2K’s simulation breakdown.
Spurs 112, Thunder 101
The much-anticipated Western Conference finals tipped off and followed the season’s theme to a tee: The Spurs don’t lose at home. They entered play with a total home record of 32-5, and immediately showed why by racing out to a 35-21 lead after the first quarter. While Kevin Durant’s 49-point explosion brought the Thunder to within striking distance late in the fourth, the Spurs’ big three of Tony Parker (35 points, 5 assists), Manu Ginobili (22 points, 8 rebounds) and Tim Duncan (21 points, 10 rebounds) were too much for Oklahoma City.
Game 2 at San Antonio
Spurs 107, Thunder 105
The Thunder have used several huge fourth quarters to reach the Western Conference finals for the second consecutive year. But in Game 2, they received a taste of their own medicine and were outscored 31-18 by the Spurs in the final period. On a night when the Thunder’s big three of Durant, Westbrook and Harden combined for a whopping 78 points, it was San Antonio’s midseason pickup that made the difference. Stephen Jackson drilled five 3-pointers and scored 21 points to bring the Spurs back from double digits.
Game 3 at Oklahoma City
Thunder 92, Spurs 87
Coming back home down two games is always a dangerous situation. But the Thunder’s star players responded, outscoring the Spurs 23-16 in the fourth quarter to get back in the series. OKC was led by –- who else? -– Durant, who scored 39 points and hauled in 12 rebounds. Westbrook added 31 points of his own. The Spurs were led by Parker’s 25 points in the losing effort.
Game 4 at Oklahoma City
Spurs 103, Thunder 91
The Spurs were considered the deepest team in the league entering the postseason, and they showed why in game four. Five Spurs finished in double figures, and both DeJuan Blair and Danny Green scored eight apiece. Rookie Kawhi Leonard also came up huge on the defensive end with nine rebounds and three blocked shots. For the Thunder, the play of their big three just wasn’t enough. While Durant scored another 31 points, only Westbrook and Harden joined him in double figures. It takes a full complement of players to beat a team like the Spurs, and that’s why Oklahoma City is just one loss away from elimination.
Game 5 at San Antonio
Spurs 106, Thunder 96
The veteran Spurs have stood the test of time by incorporating effective young role players like Leonard, Green, Blair, Tiago Splitter and Gary Neal into their system. But at the end of the day, it’s still Duncan who makes everything hum in San Antonio. Arguably the greatest power forward of all time, Duncan saved his best for last, scoring 27 points and 9 rebounds to send the Spurs to their fifth NBA Finals. Duncan was helped by his old pals Ginobili (23 points, 8 rebounds) and Tony Parker (15 points, 7 assists), while Leonard chipped in with 9 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks. The Thunder’s time may come, but they didn’t have enough this year against the San Antonio juggernaut.