Warriors push series back to Oakland for Game 7

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On Tuesday, May 24, the Golden State Warriors were on the verge of being eliminated from the NBA Playoffs. They were down in their series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, 3-1, having lost game 1 at home and games 3 and 4 in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City, led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, were playing incredible basketball, beating the Warriors by 28 and 24 points at home in games 3 and 4. Then the series moved back to the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA.

Thunder Forward Kevin Durant
Thunder Forward Kevin Durant

Golden State took over game 5, with MVP point guard Steph Curry getting 31 points, five steals and seven rebounds, while dishing out six assists. Forward Klay Thompson added 27 points.

For OKC, Durant had the top score of the game, with 40 points, seven rebounds and three assists. His teammate Russell Westbrook added 31 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, but their efforts weren’t enough to end the series and move on to the NBA Finals.

When game 6 was played back in Oklahoma City at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, the Thunder played before a roaring crown that saw them leading the Warriors by eight when the fourth quarter started and seven halfway through that final quarter.

Then Thompson and Curry picked up their game for the Warriors. Curry made two three-pointers in those final minutes and Thompson made another. In the final six minutes Golden State scored 21 points and OKC could only mange eight points.

The Thunder had several big turnovers in those final minutes that played into the explosive nature of the Warriors’ game. Part of that might have been all the minutes Durant and Westbrook played: 45 for Durant and 44 for Westbrook. But the Thunder needed all those minutes because the rest of the team wasn’t scoring. Only two other players scored in double digits: Serge Ibaka with 13 and Andre Roberson with 11.

On the other side Klay Thompson finished with 41 points and Steph Curry had 31. Draymond Green added 12 for Golden State. The Warriors played 11 players, with nine scoring and the Thunder played nine, with seven scoring.

There will be a game 7 tonight at the Oracle Arena. It’s win or go home for both teams. Oklahoma City has proven they can win in Oakland, but Golden State has proven it can come back and win, many times during the season and in this series, after facing elimination.

Now the question is: will the NBA Finals start in Cleveland with the Cavaliers hosting the Thunder, or in Oakland with the Warriors hosting the Cavaliers?

Photos by Claudia Gestro; top photo: Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors.