NBA West Conference Final Recap

Following a 3-1 series deficit, the Golden State Warriors did the unthinkable and were able secure a spot in the NBA Finals.

Jake Matise, Sports Editor

Those who watched Game 7 of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Western Conference Finals witnessed an astounding feat in sports history. The Golden State Warriors, predicted by many writers and sports broadcasters to be the favorite to win the Conference Final, found themselves merely one game away from elimination. The team was able to completely turn the tables on the Oklahoma City Thunder and collect the three consecutive wins that were needed to avoid being eliminated.

After winning a game at home and on the road, the Golden State Warriors received some helpful home court advantage for Game 7. Playing in front of a friendly sold-out crowd would help any team, and a solid team like the Warriors definitely benefited from it.

However, the first quarter did not go Golden State’s way. It was a very close game for most of the quarter, but Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook of the Thunder were able to make some key plays, whether scoring, assisting, or grabbing rebounds, and the Thunder were able to close out the first quarter with a 24-19 lead.

The Warriors began to decrease Oklahoma City’s lead in the second quarter, thanks to star Stephen Curry making multiple three-pointers and chalking up assists as well. Curry would finish the night with 36 points, on his way to becoming the deciding factor in the game. Steven Adams of the Thunder ended up being benched due to his inability to guard Curry, frustrating the Thunder coaching staff. However, Oklahoma City still held a 48-42 lead at halftime.

The third quarter was where the Thunder completely lost control of the game. They were outscored 12-29 in the quarter and saw their lead disappear in the blink of an eye. Stephen Curry and his teammate Klay Thompson were a dynamic duo, providing the Warriors with a ton of three-point shots  that allowed them to get back into the game. The Thunder looked completely confused, and was just as ineffective on offense as they were on defense in the quarter.

Oklahoma City attempted to regain the lead, but it wasn’t enough. They were still outscored 28-25 in the last quarter, and were promptly eliminated for their poor play. For lack of a better way to put it, the Thunder choked, and wound up on the wrong end of an 88-96 final score. They found themselves one win away from the NBA Finals quicker than they thought, and wrote off a resilient Warriors team that proved all their doubters wrong. The Warriors now turn their attention to NBA superstar LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of the 2014-2015 NBA Finals.