Warriors Use Dominant Third Quarter To Beat Thunder & Advance To Finals


Monday, May 30th 2016, 11:58 pm
By: Brett Coppenbarger


In a game that truly displayed their dominance, the Warriors took down the Thunder 96-88 to advance to the NBA Finals for the second straight season. Golden State becomes the 10th team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 deficit and comeback to win the series.

Related: Thunder Social Scene

Both Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were scorching hot from the perimeter in the second half, and Curry finished with a game-high 36 points as the Warriors look to defend their 2015 NBA title in the next round against the Cavaliers.

Things looked good for OKC early in the game as the ball movement was fluid with everyone getting involved. The Thunder was able to roar loudest when Russell Westbrook connected with Andre Roberson for an alley-oop dunk that put OKC up 35-22 while the Warriors looked stiff on the offensive end of the floor.

That quickly changed.

Despite the Thunder’s early success moving the ball early in the game, Westbrook opted to pull up for a deep three and try to draw a foul shortly after a Warriors timeout, but the refs didn’t bite. Golden State was able to corral the miss and turn it into a Thompson 3-pointer on the other end. And then add another Thompson money ball quickly after, and all the sudden the Warriors found its groove. Both teams exchanged punches to close the first half, but Curry’s silky layup that kissed off the top of the backboard brought the Warriors within six points and seemed to seize the game’s momentum.

The Thunder didn’t look the same on offense after halftime, and the Warriors looked like they were just getting started. Golden State’s first five field goals of the second half were from behind the arc, with the last one coming from Curry to cap off a 15-to-4 Warriors run and put the Warriors up three.

It was the first Golden State lead since the opening minute of the game, but the Warriors wouldn’t trail again as the best regular season team of all time was clicking on all cylinders. The Thunder only managed to score 12 points in the third while Golden State finished the quarter on a 12-to-2 run that put them up by 11 after three quarters.

OKC did play like a desperate team in the fourth quarter, and got within four points at 90-86 after Kevin Durant went on a personal 7-to-0 run, but Serge Ibaka fouled Curry while shooting a 3-pointer on the next possession and OKC wasn’t able to recover from the questionable call.

Durant finished with 27 points and seven rebounds, while Westbrook added 19 points and 13 assists. Ibaka was aggressive for most of the game and finished with 16 points but no other Thunder player scored in double digits. 

Things looked good for OKC early in the game as the ball movement was fluid with everyone getting involved. The Thunder was able to roar loudest when Russell Westbrook connected with Andre Roberson for an alley-oop dunk that put OKC up 35-22 while the Warriors looked stiff on the offensive end of the floor.

That quickly changed.

Despite the Thunder’s early success moving the ball early in the game, Westbrook opted to pull up for a deep three and try to draw a foul shortly after a Warriors timeout, but the refs didn’t bite. Golden State was able to corral the miss and turn it into a Thompson 3-pointer on the other end. And then add another Thompson money ball quickly after, and all the sudden the Warriors found its groove. Both teams exchanged punches to close the first half, but Curry’s silky layup that kissed off the top of the backboard brought the Warriors within six points and seemed to seize the game’s momentum.

The Thunder didn’t look the same on offense after halftime, and the Warriors looked like they were just getting started. Golden State’s first five field goals of the second half were from behind the arc, with the last one coming from Curry to cap off a 15-to-4 Warriors run and put the Warriors up three.

It was the first Golden State lead since the opening minute of the game, but the Warriors wouldn’t trail again as the best regular season team of all time was clicking on all cylinders. The Thunder only managed to score 12 points in the third while Golden State finished the quarter on a 12-to-2 run that put them up by 11 after three quarters.

OKC did play like a desperate team in the fourth quarter, and got within four points at 90-86 after Kevin Durant went on a personal 7-to-0 run, but Serge Ibaka fouled Curry while shooting a 3-pointer on the next possession and OKC wasn’t able to recover from the questionable call.

Could be ball game. Foul on Serge. Not first time he's done that. @NEWS9

— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) May 31, 2016

Steph Curry's 7 threes are the most ever in a Game 7. pic.twitter.com/v9RMfQk8Ky

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 31, 2016

Durant finished with 27 points and seven rebounds, while Westbrook added 19 points and 13 assists. Ibaka was aggressive for most of the game and finished with 16 points but no other Thunder player scored in double digits. 

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In a game that truly displayed their dominance, the Warriors took down the Thunder 96-88 to advance to the NBA Finals for the second straight season.

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