The Oklahoma City Thunder seemed to have an answer for everything. Well, at least until the Golden State Warriors started playing like the team they’d been all season long.
The Western Conference will be won on Monday night in Oakland after the Warriors beat the Thunder 108-101 in an instant-classic Game 6 that somehow exceeded all expectations.
Klay Thompson scored 41 points and set a playoff record by making 11 three-pointers. Steph Curry had 31 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists. And the Warriors as a whole, most importantly, finally resembled themselves – especially when it mattered most.
Golden State trailed Oklahoma City 89-81 with 9:03 left in the game after Russell Westbrook, who was excellent on Saturday, stymied another mini run by the champs with an 18-foot jumper. It seemed that might be the storyline that marked this game more than any other: The Thunder’s refusal to buckle and give up a lead under relentless pressure from basketball’s most flammable team.
Every time the Warriors seemed to seize momentum, Oklahoma City was there to squash it. Westbrook would draw a foul and get to the line. Kevin Durant would protect the rim to prevent an easy two. Steven Adams would push and shove his way to keeping the ball alive and finding his team another shot.