Culture of Hoops

Oklahoma City Thunder advance to Western Conference Finals

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Basketball isn’t a fourth-quarter sport. It comes down to the fourth quarter, but everything that happens until that final period is essential as well. The Oklahoma City Thunder end the post-season for the Los Angeles Clippers with a 104-98 victory, putting them in the series win column at 4-2. Many of their games were close, just like Game 6, but everything from the tip-off factors in to the end result, as in life.

They needed one last push to hold off the Thunder in the fourth quarter. The Clips’ lead ballooned to as many as 16 points, but they just couldn’t hold on to it. The Thunder were just too good in Game 6, and the calls just didn’t go in the favor of the Clippers. Although the Clippers season has ended, this marks the best season for them in their history. If you think about it, the core of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and Jamal Crawford , headed by Doc Rivers, are just getting started. The Clippers stood their ground, even with the major distractions, and gave the fans an amazing season. Jack Nicholson even showed up to Game 6, showing his love for an intrepid team.

Well, the Thunder earned their entrance into the Western Conference Finals against the battle-tested San Antonio Spurs.  MVP Kevin Durant had another surging game, as he finished with 39 points, 16 rebounds, and 5 assists, clobbering the “Mr. Unreliable” memes. Russell Westbrook was contained to 19 points, but still managed to dish out 12 assists. Stats-wise, this was another evenly matched contest, except from beyond the arc, where the Thunder shot 36%, compared to the Clippers who shot only 28.6% from long-range. Despite some bad calls that went in their favor, the Thunder did their job, and you can’t blame them for that.

CP3 flirted with a triple double in Game 6: 25 points, 11 assists, and 7 rebounds. He’s growing with every post-season appearance, and he’ll definitely remember this feeling of defeat to fuel him next year. Blake Griffin came up with 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists, also knocking on the door of a triple double. DeAndre Jordan played like his usual self in this game, scoring 9 points and grabbing 15 boards. The Clippers proved that they have the talent and heart to possibly go all the way to win the hardware in the future.

The Thunder just substituted their Clippers problem for a Spurs problem. Will they find the solution this time around? Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals match-up will start on Monday, May 19.

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