The Oklahoma City Thunder took the court looking to finish off the defending champion Golden State at home, but it was the Warriors who prevailed with a 108-101 win.
The critical Game 6 start was slow as OKC won the tip and scored the first bucket with a short jumper from Kevin Durant after a couple of failed offensive possessions. But the Warriors answered right back with a three-pointer from Splash bro Klay Thompson, his first of many.
Three minutes in, both teams struggled to get much of anything to fall as the Thunder maintained a one-point lead (8-7).
At this point, if the Thunder was going to close out the series they needed to change gears and take advantage of the multiple second attempts they were earning off rebounds before reigning MVP Steph Curry found his rhythm.
With OKC down 12-9, Durant looked hurried every time he touched the ball, shooting just 2-8 with 6:15 left in the first quarter. But Golden State’s mainstays were pretty much in the same boat, thanks in part to the Thunder’s defense.
Serge Ibaka stepped up big for his team in the final minutes of the quarter, knocking down a deep jumper to help the Thunder elevate their advantage. Dion Waiters followed up to make it a 23-17 ball game.
Curry continued to struggle, scoring not a single bucket going into the second quarter. Without his help, Golden State’s future wasn’t looking too bright as the team shot just 27 percent (8-of-29 with 9:18 on the clock).
OKC soon took a 33-21 lead while outscoring Golden State 10-1. The Thunder switched it up, playing small around Enes Kanter as the lone big. The move suggested that Billy Donovan wasn’t afraid to try anything in the presenting situation.
As sloppy play from the Warriors continued, the Thunder got their momentum going with a monster slam from Steven Adams followed up by a three from Durant.
Durant soon tallied his 12th point as OKC led 41-31 with 4:13 before intermission.
Thompson soon found his flow to get the Warriors back in the game, cutting their deficit 44-40.
Going into halftime, the Thunder carried a 53-48 lead after dominating the paint for 30 of their points.
Durant and Thompson led each team with 16 points. Westbrook trailed Durant with 11 and Ibaka added 12. OKC shot 44 percent from the field and 2-of-14 from long range, while Golden Stated shot 36 percent from the field and 9-of-21 from behind the arc. The Warriors out-rebounded the Thunder 26-25 but tallied ten turnovers vs. OKC’s three.
In the locker room, Curry along with his teammates must’ve prayed for his God gifted wrist, or maybe he listened to Drake’s new album Views and got pumped up by the line, “hittin’ like that 30 on my jersey, man, I’m gifted,” because he came out a different man entering the second half. He looked more like the unanimous MVP.
With the Splash Brothers in full effect, the Thunder struggled to maintain a cushion, only leading by four with just over six minutes to play in the third quarter.
But Durant’s 24 points along with Westbrook’s 19 points and 10 assists wouldn’t allow them to take a lead.
With two minutes before the fourth quarter, OKC clinched a two-point lead (77-75).
Thompson and Westbrook went head-to-head minutes into the final quarter, but Thompson’s 31 points (9-of-15 from three-point range) were no match for Westbrook’s 24 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds. While Thompson mostly battled alone while Curry was out, Westbrook had help. Each Thunder knew their role and played it well.
With just over two minutes to play, Thompson's shooting excited Curry as the dynamic Duo joined forces to tie the game 99-all and soon claim a 108-101 victory.
Game 7 is set for Monday at 8 p.m. in CA.