3 min read

Warriors shoot their way to a Game 7, 108-101


Gut-punch [guht-punch] verb 1. Game 6, Thunder versus Warriors.

That one is going to sting for a while. At least until Monday. When it stops stinging, or Game 7 only piles on to it.

Up eight heading to the fourth quarter. Up seven with six minutes to go. Up two with two minutes to go.

It was one of those games it didn’t start sinking in the Thunder might lose until Thompson hit the go-ahead 3 with 1:35 remaining. At that moment, it was 104-101, and suddenly the Thunder were actually in trouble. They were actually going to lose.

Kevin Durant forced a 3 on the next possession and missed — one of his 21 misses on the night, and seven from 3 — but the Thunder got a stop. And then they threw it away again. Stephen Curry hit a runner with 14 seconds left, and it was over. Now it’s on to Monday, and a Game 7 in Oakland.

So, how did it get there? I really can think of a couple things:

1. Klay Freaking Thompson. That’s the best individual playoff performance I’ve ever seen. That was spectacular. Without him being absolutely sensational, the Warriors lose by 20. He kept them in the game, and then he won them the game.

2. The Thunder didn’t build a bigger lead before halftime. It was only five after the first 24 minutes, and it should’ve been 15. The Thunder missed a big chance to put their foot on the Warriors’ throats and start pulling away. It was a combination of Thompson and pretty bad offense that kept the Thunder from extending that lead. The fact the Warriors got to the locker room down only five was a huge win.

3. The offense. That was a throwback to 2011 right there. Billy Donovan said this: “I felt like we didn’t do a great job coming down the stretch, and I think we’ve made such great improvements coming down the stretch in terms of just on both offense and defense of doing a better job of executing and that really wasn’t — hasn’t been us the last month and a half. I thought we got a little stagnant coming down the stretch.” That was really it. So many times the blown fourth quarter games in the regular season were due to shoddy defense. That wasn’t it tonight. The Thunder couldn’t score.

4. Allow this to wash over: The only basket the Thunder got in the final five minutes came from Andre Roberson. And it was a putback.

5. Did I already say Klay Thompson?

The question: What do the Thunder have left for Monday? I can’t imagine much. This was their Game 7. This was their stand. They put all their intensity and emotion into it, and fully expected to win. The champs had a response, as you’d expect. It was an incredible game, and an incredible gut-check by the Warriors.

We thought Draymond Green’s kick to Steven Adams was the low-blow in this series. But what the Warriors did tonight was the real one.


  • Durant didn’t play well. He came out of the gates firing from all over, trying to win the game himself in the first quarter. He started 2-10, and was 6-19 by halftime. He took a lot of iffy shots, and missed some really easy looks, including layups.
  • The Thunder have lost their balance. Westbrook and Durant took 59 of the Thunder’s 91 shots in Game 5. They took 58 of their 90 tonight.
  • Durant: “We’ve got another game to play. We’re excited about that. We get another opportunity. And we can’t hang our heads. We’ve got another game to play, so it’s pretty high right now.” He did not sound very convincing as he said this.
  • Optics are kind of a funny thing. Remember the Western Conference finals in 2014, the Thunder lost in Game 6 in OT to the Spurs? They were close to forcing that Game 7 and having a chance. They’re actually in that spot now, but with them losing  at home with a chance to close out, it feels so much worse. So, so much worse.
  • But that Steven Adams dunk was real nice though.
  • The Thunder can’t solve the Warriors’ defense suddenly. Andre Iguodala is playing spectacular defense on Durant, and without the ball moving, there’s little to be done.
  • Serge Ibaka had 12 points at halftime. He finished with 13.
  • Enes Kanter had his best game since Game 1, finishing with eight points in 11 minutes. He was actually a +15, if you can believe that.
  • Foul trouble was a killer for OKC. Especially Andre Roberson. He picked up his fifth late third, and guess what, that’s when Thompson really got to cooking.
  • Foul trouble forced Anthony Morrow into playing five minutes. And those five minutes felt more like 35.
  • Dion Waiters has three points in his last two games.
  • Three turnovers in the first half. Twelve in the second.
  • Ten missed free throws loom very large.
  • I really don’t have much more to say. That was a big chance for OKC to do something neat, and they didn’t. There’s another game to be played, and I guess there’s actually a chance they could win it. But it sure feels like the series ended tonight, didn’t it?

Next up: Game 7 on Monday in Oakland