May 30, 2016, 10:02 pm
Monday night brought us Game 7 of the hotly contested Western Conference finals. After the Game 6 debacle could the Thunder re-group to win on the road? Or would it be a repeat of last year’s final with the Warriors moving on to face the Cavs? With a recap of what transpired, here’s Tuesday’s daily dish.
WARRIORS 96, THUNDER 88
This entire series was incredible. The pressure is now on LeBron James and Co. to maintain the high level of basketball that was demonstrated throughout the Western Conference finals.
On the grandest stage and in the most important game of their season the Warriors were again led by the Splash brothers. Stephen Curry led the way with 36 points on 13-of-24 shooting. He connected on 7-of-12 from three-point land, with many of them being shot over bigger players. Curry added five rebounds and eight assists and was a major reason why the Warriors prevailed in Game 7.
Klay Thompson followed up his 41 point (11 trey) Game 6 performance with 21 points and six more treys in Game 7. Thompson shot 7-of-19 overall and added five rebounds and one steal to close out his line.
Andre Iguodala stepped into the starting line-up and played a team-high 43 minutes. While he only produced only seven points, four rebounds and three assists, his athleticism and speed on the defensive end made it difficult on Kevin Durant all evening.
For the Thunder, Kevin Durant scored a team-high 27 points on 10-of-19 shooting. He added three treys, seven rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block to round out his night and possibly his last game with the Thunder.
Russell Westbrook also played a strong game scoring 19 points. He added seven rebounds and a game-high 13 assists. While he only shot 7-of-21 he spaced out the floor and was able to get his teammates open shots all night. Unfortunately for him, a lot of those open shots were missed.
Andre Roberson shot 2-of-11 for four points put gathered a game-high 13 rebounds. Although Curry and Thompson did manage to score a combined 57 points, Roberson played some good defense nonetheless, running through screens and hustling to cover open threes.
The Thunder as a team shot 38% from the field and if we subtract Durant’s 10-of-19 the rest of the team ended up shooting only 34%.
Coach Billy Donovan went with a tight seven-man rotation but only played Enes Kanter nine minutes. The Warriors on the other hand played six bench players for a total of 57 minutes. Fatigue may not have been an excuse in the loss, but one has to wonder how the minutes played by the bench affected the starters in a seven game series.
Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli, Marreese Speights and Anderson Varejao played a combined 33 minutes but only accounted for seven points. The Warriors went small to end the game but the big men will have to step it up in the finals when they go up against Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love.
The best series of the 2016 NBA playoffs thus far unfortunately comes to an end with the Warriors outlasting the Thunder. Stephen Curry and the rest of the 73-9 Warrior team live on to play another game and possibly cement their legacy as, the greatest team ever. Only LeBron James stands in their way. Game 1 of the NBA finals goes on Thursday evening and these next two days will hopefully just fly by.