by Michael Martinez
picture credit Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images
Down in the Western Conference Finals three games to one, the Golden State Warriors looked lost, worn out and defeated. While the Oklahoma City Thunder seemed unstoppable and their path to the NBA Finals appeared clear.
But did people forget that this Warriors team won a record setting 73 games? If anybody could come back down three games for just the tenth time in league history, it would be these guys. And the Warriors showed their resiliency and in game seven their fearless leader, Steph Curry showed that his second MVP selection, an unanimous decision, was no fluke.
The best player on the planet and his team defeated the Thunder, 96-88, in a tough game 7.
The first quarter was all Thunder as their defense was relentless and made Golden State take tough shots. The Warriors only scored 19 points, while Kevin Durant looked to be locked in. Oklahoma City showed up in the first and gave the impression that they had forgotten about the past two games.
However, the second quarter was different and the Warriors went back to what they do best, shooting the three ball. Klay Thompson got off to a rough 0 for 7 start, but knocked down four triples in the second to help his team cut the Thunder’s lead, who looked poised to take a big lead.
At the half, OKC led Golden State, 48-42 and out of the half, the MVP reigned supreme.
Curry made three big triples in the third and the Warriors played tremendous defense. The defending champs outscored the Thunder, 29-12, in the third quarter. The third quarter was the turning point and the home team never looked back.
While Curry had a solid third quarter, his clutch performance in the fourth proved why he is currently the best player in the NBA. Curry went 5-6 from the field, including 2 for 3 from beyond the arc for 15 fourth quarter points. Curry absolutely went off and made the big shots when the Thunder tried to make a come back of their own late in the game.
The Warriors lived by the three in tonight’s game, shooting 45.9 percent from behind the three point line. Their defense also did a great job of not allowing Durant the ball and holding their opponents to a shooting percentage of 38.2 percent.
Durant did finish with 27 points on 10 of 19 from the field for a team high and Russell Westbrook totaled 19 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds. But Westbrook had difficulty shooting as he went 7 of 21 on the night.
Curry finished with a game high 36 points, hitting 13 fields goals on 24 tries with seven of those field goals coming from three point range. The Warriors win was definitely a collective effort as the team had to come together strong to make this incredible series come back. Thompson ended the game with 21 points of his own as the Splash Brothers once again guided their team to one of the franchise’s most important victories.
The Warriors spent a ton of energy on winning this series and that could be a factor as their next task begins on Thursday. But, the Warriors are headed to back to back finals. They have a player who won back to back MVP trophies. And now, repeating as champions is in plain sight.
The Cavs and LeBron James look better than the team the Warriors saw last year, but again do not count out the Western Conference Champions. History is unfolding right in front of our eyes, can the Warriors be historical once again?
Tune in to ABC on June 2 at 6 p.m, where Golden State and Curry will take on James and company at Oracle Arena in front of a rambunctious Oakland crowd.