SAN ANTONIO — Tim Duncan scored 27 points and the San Antonio Spurs took advantage of Serge Ibaka’s absence to dominate the paint, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 122-105 on Monday night in the opener of the Western Conference finals.
Manu Ginobili added 18 points and Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green had 16 points each. Tony Parker did not appear limited by a hamstring injury, scoring 14 points and having 12 asssists.
Kevin Durant scored 28 points and Russell Westbrook added 25. Oklahoma City’s remaining starters, Nick Collison, Thabo Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins combined to score five points.
The Thunder struggled without the defensive presence of Ibaka, who will miss the remainder of the postseason after suffering a calf injury in the Thunder’s series clincher against the Los Angeles Clippers.
San Antonio had 66 points in the paint and shot 58 percent from the field.
NBA CHARGES STERLING, SETS HEARING: In New York, the NBA initiated a charge against Donald Sterling, setting up a June 3 hearing after which owners could vote to terminate his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers.
The charge Monday asserts that Sterling has damaged the NBA and its teams, disparaged African-Americans and that he his actions “significantly undermine the NBA’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.”
Sterling, who has been banned for life by Commissioner Adam Silver after the release of a recording in which he made racist remarks, has until May 27 to respond to the charge, and the right to appear at the hearing in front of the board of governors.
If three-fourths of the owners vote to sustain the charge, Sterling will be forced to sell the team he has owned since 1981.
TEAM, KERR COMPLETE 5-YEAR, $25M DEAL: In Oakland, Cailf., the Golden State Warriors and Steve Kerr completed the coaching contract agreed to last week.
The sides finalized the five-year deal worth up to $25 million Monday. The team said it will introduce Kerr at a news conference Tuesday at its downtown Oakland practice facility.
Kerr had been in talks with the New York Knicks about becoming their coach after Phil Jackson took over as team president in March. He won three titles playing for Jackson in Chicago and another two under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio.
Kerr also served as general manager of the Phoenix Suns from 2007-10 before going back to the TNT broadcast table. Kerr replaces Mark Jackson, who was fired by the Warriors on May 6 after three seasons and back-to-back playoff appearances.
CEO LEVIEN, LASH OUT: In Memphis, Tenn., the Memphis Grizzlies parted ways with team CEO Jason Levien and director of player personnel Stu Lash. The front office shake-up comes after the Grizzlies were eliminated in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
The Grizzlies announced the moves on Monday.
General manager Chris Wallace assumes interim responsibility for basketball operations. Jason Wexler, the Grizzlies’ chief operating officer, remains responsible for business operations.
The Grizzlies went 50-32 and lost in seven games to Oklahoma City in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs.