The Golden State Warriors overcame a 3-1 series deficit against the Oklahoma City Thunder to win the Western Conference finals. They rallied from double digits down to win the last two games of the series. They’ll take on the Cavaliers in a rematch of last year’s NBA Finals.
The difference: Warriors flip the switch
The Warriors won this game on the strength of their 3-point shooting. That’s no surprise, but their methodology was a little different. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson took advantage of the Thunder’s big men when there were switches on screens.
Curry and Thompson combined for 23 points on 8-of-22 shooting when guarded by Steven Adams in the first six games of the series. They scored 23 points on 8-of-8 shooting (including 6-of-6 from 3-point range) in Game 7.
Curry was on the court for 40 minutes and 24 seconds. In that time, the Warriors outscored the Thunder by 18 points, shot 46 percent from the field and had 18 assists and seven turnovers.
When the MVP was off the court, the Warriors shot 2-of-13, committed four turnovers and were outscored by 10 points.
The Warriors became the 10th team to win a postseason series after trailing 3-1 and the third to do so in the conference finals. They join the 1978-79 Bullets and 1980-81 Celtics.
Teams with the season's MVP have won 18 straight Game 7s and are 27-5 all time in Game 7s. The most recent MVP to lose was Julius Erving in 1981. Taking that a step further, the MVP's team has won 25 straight winner-take-all games played on home court.
This is the second time in Warriors history that the team reached the Finals in consecutive seasons. They also did so in 1947 and 1948.
The Thunder's loss snapped a streak of 42 consecutive 3-1 leads converted into victories in the conference finals or later.
Defensive key: Iguodala limits opportunities
Iguodala finished a possession guarding Durant 69 times in Game 7, with Durant attempting 11 shots (16 percent of those possessions). Durant took a shot almost twice as frequently (28 percent of the time) when guarded by anybody else.