Tim Duncan is a veteran of numerous playoff series, but none, in his mind, wackier than the one he is playing in right now.
The home team has dominated every game of this year's Western Conference finals, the latest lopsided victory going to the San Antonio Spurs.
Returning to the AT&T Center, San Antonio thumped the Oklahoma City Thunder 117-89 Thursday night, emphatically taking a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
"It's the craziest series I've ever been involved in," said Duncan, the forward who led the Spurs with both 22 points and 12 rebounds. "I don't know to explain it. They always talk about, in a series, making adjustments. And both coaches have made some great adjustments. And both teams have responded."
In Game 5, it was the Spurs who responded to consecutive losses in Oklahoma City -- by inserting forward Matt Bonner into the starting lineup, by neutralizing a previously resurgent Thunder forward Serge Ibaka, by limiting the Thunder to just four fast-break points and by limiting Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant and guard Russell Westbrook to a combined 46 points.
Durant and Westbrook combined for 71 points in Game 4.
Ibaka breathed new life into the Thunder when he returned for Game 3 from a calf injury that was originally expected to sideline him for the remainder of the postseason. However, Ibaka was a non-factor Thursday, scoring just six points on 3-of-10 shooting and grabbing only two rebounds. The Spurs outrebounded the Thunder 48-35 in their first victory over Oklahoma City this year with Ibaka on the floor.
San Antonio also outscored Oklahoma City 40-36 on points in the paint.
The home team has won each game in the series by an average of 20 points.
"That's why we've opted not to go to OKC," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich joked. "Obviously, it seems like the home court motivates both teams pretty well. That's one thing I guess you could say. They both look like they feel comfortable playing at home."
With a win Saturday in Game 6 at Oklahoma City, San Antonio would reach the NBA Finals in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history.
The Spurs scored early and often, shooting 61 percent from the floor while knocking down eight of their 14 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc in the first half. San Antonio finished 13-for-26 from long range.
The Thunder shot 43.2 percent for the game, while the Spurs made 51.3 percent of their attempts from the floor.
"Our shots weren't falling," said Durant, who finished with a game-high 25 points. "When we can't make a shot, we've got to play defense, and we didn't tonight."
San Antonio guard Manu Ginobli, held to five points in the Game 4 defeat, scored 14 of his 19 points in the first half. He finished 7-for-9 from the floor, knocking down three of his four 3-point tries.
The Thunder, who hit just six of 24 3-point attempts, scored 32 points in the first quarter but just 34 in the second half. They trailed 65-55 at halftime and never recovered.
"The first quarter was fool's gold," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "It's about playing every possession, and we didn't have that mentality tonight, and we had that for 96 minutes the last two games."
The winner of Game 5 in a best-of-seven series tied at two games apiece has gone on to win that series 82 percent of the time. However, Oklahoma City beat the odds against San Antonio before, overcoming an 0-2 deficit in the 2012 Western Conference finals by reeling off four straight wins.
The Thunder won't do that this time around, but they still have a chance to reach the NBA Finals for the second time in three seasons. They face elimination Saturday at Chesapeake Energy Arena, where they have a nine-game winning streak against San Antonio.
NOTES: Thunder G Reggie Jackson remained in the starting lineup despite spraining his right ankle in the first quarter of Tuesday's Game 4 win. Jackson scored all 11 of his points in the first quarter, his best output in a quarter since he had 11 of his career-high 32 points in the second quarter of a first-round, overtime victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on April 26. ... Spurs F Matt Bonner, who was averaging fewer than five minutes per game in the postseason before Thursday, started in place of Tiago Splitter. He finished scoreless in 17 minutes. It was Bonner's first start of the year and the first time the Spurs used a different starting lineup during the postseason. ... San Antonio connected on its last eight shots from the field in the first quarter, ending the quarter on a 10-4 run to tie the score at 32.