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Oklahoma City Thunder will be heading to the NBA finals for the first time since relocating to the city from Seattle. The franchise managed a commanding victory in Game 6 against perennial favourites San Antonio Spurs winning the Western Conference Finals 4-2. Oklahoma faced a 15 point deficit at the end of the first half but they rallied back with commanding performances from the likes of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant to annihilate their opponents 107-99. They became only the third team in NBA history to win 4 straight in a Conference final series after going 2-0 down.
The Oklahoma City Thunder had their star man Kevin Durant firing on all cylinders as he added a game high 34 points on the floor. He was a hit in defence as well as collecting 14 rebounds and giving San Antonio a migraine on both ends of the court. Durant played every second of the game on the floor and his constant looming threat really kept the OKC going despite the fact that they were down by 18 points in the second quarter. He has been a real star in this series, leading the modest Oklahoma team against a franchise that had won its last 18 games coming into the Conference finals.
Russell Westbrook and James Harden provided support yet again to the omnipotent Durant and their good work followed through in the end. Harden posted some solid percentages in the 34 minute court time he got from coach Scott Brooks, shooting three 3 pointers from four attempts and missing just one free throw in 6 attempts. Russell Westbrook was Durant's real partner in crime as he intimidated his opponents with big plays such as a massive dunk over their big man or even a big bucket from the floor. He also added 8 rebounds which helped OKC's cause in a big way.
Tony Parker had a rare big numbers game in this series as he notched up 29 points and added 12 assists to the team's tally. Parker was on fire in this game as he led the first half supremacy of the Spurs alongside Tim Duncan who was making some pretty cool dishes from the floor to heap the pressure on the home team. Spurs were so impressive in the first half that Gregg Popovich commended them for their performances telling them that this was the play they had played all year, passing the ball fluidly and finding the man in space to make the dish on every occasion. Stephen Jackson had quite an extraordinary night as he nailed his first 6 attempts from beyond the arc.
But it all went horribly wrong for the four time NBA Champions in the second half as OKC upped the ante. Jackson's only miss from beyond the arc came as a bad omen for the franchise as things were looking bleaker and bleaker by the second. Tony Parker lost his touch in the period, Duncan failed to make a real impact and on the other side both Harden and Derek Fisher were nailing critical buckets for their team. It was indeed a story of two halves as both teams looked to have total control of the game but in the end Oklahoma came through with hard fought come back.
OKC will now take on either Boston Celtics or Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA finals on Tuesday night. Boston lead the series 3-2 and are looking to be only the fourth team in Conference finals history to come back from 2-0 down to claim a spot in the elusive match up. If Boston do make it, it will be the clash of the underdogs but both teams would've definitely deserved a spot in the finals for their sheer grit and 'never say die' attitude. However, if Miami make it to their second successive NBA finals we may see an interesting matchup between the big three in red and the big three in orange attire.
Final Score: San Antonio Spurs 99 - 107 Oklahoma City Thunder
Game on Thursday night
Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics (2-3)
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