Warriors Stay Alive After Game 6 Thriller

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For the second time in three days, the Warriors staved off elimination, using a fourth quarter comeback to earn a series-tying 108-101 victory over the Thunder in Game 6 on Saturday. With their backs against the wall, the Splash Brothers came through when it mattered most. Klay Thompson was scintillating, scoring a game-high 41 points, including an NBA playoff record 11 three-pointers. Stephen Curry added 29 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, while Draymond Green posted his seventh double-double of the postseason with 14 points and 12 rebounds. The series will now transition back to the Bay Area for a winner-take-all Game 7 on Monday.

Golden State faced a seven-point deficit with 5:48 remaining in their season. What ensued after that will go down as one of the more impressive road victories in Warriors’ postseason history, and depending on the result of the now-necessary Game 7, may be looked back upon as the defining moment of a championship run. That deficit could have been considerably larger if not for the incendiary display of Klay Thompson, who almost single-handedly kept Golden State in the game at several points when Oklahoma City seemed destined to run away with it. His first field goal of the game by way of a three-pointer not only put the Warriors out in front in the opening minutes, but proved to be foreshadowing of an astounding shooting display to come. His next bucket gave Golden State a 12-9 advantage halfway through the first quarter, after which the Thunder responded with a 9-0 run to jump back in front, and Golden State would trail for the rest of the half. But, thanks to the Splash Brothers, they’d remain within shouting distance, never letting Oklahoma City get too far out of reach.


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A 10-1 Thunder run to open the second quarter gave Oklahoma City their first double-digit lead of the night at 33-21 with 8:42 remaining in the first half. Golden State would trim that down to a seven-point deficit before a Steven Adams dunk and back-to-back jumpers from Kevin Durant gave the Thunder what would end up being their largest lead of the entire game at 41-28. With the Warriors in serious danger of falling behind by the large deficits that had plagued them in the two prior games in Oklahoma City, Thompson provided the response they’d lacked on those occasions. He’d convert back-to-back three-pointers in a span of 47 seconds to bring a halt to the Thunder’s momentum, and three free throws from Curry a minute later would make it a two-possession game. Both Splash Brothers would add one more three-pointer each in the remainder of the half, which came to a close with Golden State right in the thick of things, trailing 53-48.


Thompson opened the second half much like he closed the first one, sinking two three-pointers within the opening 37 seconds to give the Warriors a 54-53 lead. Curry’s three-pointer with 8:07 remaining put Golden State back in front at 62-61, but they’d be held scoreless for the next 90 seconds while Oklahoma City went on a 9-0 run. The Warriors would trail for the duration of the contest until their thrilling comeback in the final minutes, but not before Curry began to put his stamp on the game. After a Festus Ezeli alley-oop on which he assisted, Curry would score the next 11 points of the third quarter for Golden State to pull within 77-75 with just over three minutes left to play. Unfortunately for the Warriors, they’d be held scoreless through the remainder of the frame, allowing the Thunder to rebuild an 83-75 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

Whenever Golden State needed a boost, there Klay Thompson was, making the impossible look easy. His three-pointer just 34 seconds into the final frame set the tone for their eventual comeback, but he wasn’t through yet, not by a long shot. Speaking of long shots, Thompson would sink two more three-pointers in succession, scoring the first nine points of the quarter for Golden State to pull within 89-84 with 8:37 remaining in regulation. Harrison Barnes would provide the only scoring for the Warriors for the next three minutes, also a three-pointer, over the course of which Oklahoma City would add two points to their advantage to reach the aforementioned 94-87 lead with 5:48 left to play. Then, with their season hanging in the balance, the Warriors displayed their championship fortitude, stepping up when it mattered most. First, it was Thompson, who followed up his own jumper on the ensuing possession with his tenth three-pointer of the game, pulling Golden State within 96-92 with just under five minutes remaining. Then, it was Curry’s turn. He’d drain consecutive three-pointers, the first of which cut the deficit to a single point and the second pulled the Warriors even at 99-99 with 2:48 left to play. Andre Roberson’s putback layup with 2:22 remaining gave the Thunder a momentary lead, but those would prove to be Oklahoma City’s final points of the contest. Andre Iguodala’s layup on the ensuing possession tied the game, and Klay Thompson's NBA postseason-record 11th three-pointer of the night with 1:35 remaining put the Warriors in front for good. Over the next minute, Golden State would force Russell Westbrook into committing two turnovers, after which Draymond Green converted a layup to put the Warriors up 106-101 with 14.3 seconds left. After Oklahoma City called timeout and advanced the ball, Curry’s steal of the inbounds pass proved to be the final blow to the Thunder’s hopes, and Thompson’s two free throws salted away the impressive and imperative 108-101 road victory.

With the win, Golden State ties the series at three games apiece and has achieved at least one road victory in each of their last ten playoff series. The Western Conference Finals will now transition back to Oracle Arena for a winner-take-all Game 7 on Monday.


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