Good morning! The Golden State Warriors completed their improbable comeback from down 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals by beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 96-88 in Game 7. Here are the plays everybody will be talking about Tuesday.
Stephen Curry stopped the first-half bleeding with a circus layup. After outplaying the Warriors for most of the first half, the Thunder seemed to put an exclamation point on their performance with about 10 seconds to go before the half when Curry drove to the basket, had a shot blocked, and then Russell Westbrook turned it into a 3-point play on the fastbreak in the other direction. It was a 5-point swing that gave the Thunder an 8-point lead. But instead of the Warriors going to the locker room bummed out, Curry went coast-to-coast in 5.4 seconds and laid in a shot that nearly hit the shot clock. This play was also important because Curry grabbed his knee after falling to the court and limped to the locker room. Luckily for the Warriors, it was his left knee and not the one that he hurt earlier in the playoffs and it didn’t seem to bother him in the second half.
In the third quarter everything went against the Thunder. The layup at the end of the first half sparked a 31-11 run for the Warriors in which they were making threes and the Thunder couldn’t make anything. After Golden State took the lead with less than three minutes to go in the third quarter, Kevin Durant missed a three-pointer badly. Shaun Livingston, who would only score 5 points all night, went coast-to-coast and slammed it home. But to make matters worse for the Thunder, Serge Ibaka made a half-hearted attempt at stopping the easy dunk by shoving Livingston on the way up. Instead of stopping the easy play, the foul turned it into a 3-point play and a 6-point lead.
Stephen Curry’s unchallenged 3-pointer sealed the game. With 42 seconds to play and with the Warriors up by seven, Curry ran around and took 16 seconds off the clock with the Thunder deciding not to foul. The game was most likely over already. However, if there was any doubt left, this erased it as Curry took the time off the clock and then was given a wide-open 3-pointer. In the second half, Curry had been making 3-pointers over the outstretched arms of Kevin Durant and Steven Adams. He wasn’t going to miss one when the Thunder decided to stop playing defence.
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