By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
We all figured it was coming at some point and in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals the “Splash Brothers” lived up to their moniker.
Klay Thompson splashed enough threes all by himself (11 overall, five in the fourth quarter) to drown the Thunder 108-101 and force Game 7 on Monday night back in Oakland.
“All Klay needs is a sliver of daylight” said fellow Splash Bro Steph Curry who dropped in six 3s and finished with 29 points.
Thompson though stole the show then broke the Thunder’s hearts with 41 points. His 11 threes are an NBA playoff record.
“I should have had at least 13 because I missed some wide-open looks early,” Thompson said, “But I had no idea what the record was. I didn’t even know I had 11 threes.”
“The shots he made tonight were huge, but they were shots that he had his feet underneath him and he just had all the confidence in the world,” Curry continued.
The Thunder led by three after the first quarter, by five at halftime, and by eight at the end of the third quarter.
It all came apart in the fourth when the Warriors outscored OKC 33-18 while dropping eight 3s, Thompson was 5-for-6 on long balls and Curry was 2-for-4. The Thunder couldn’t come close to keeping up going 0-for-3 from deep and 5-for-19 (26.3 percent overall. Kevin Durant was 1-for-7 in the fourth and Russell Westbrook was 2-for-7. They finished with 29 (Durant) and 28 (Westbrook) on a combined 20-for-56 shooting.
“I liked my shots it was just a matter of them going in,” Durant said. “When I drive to the rim they bring guys at me so I’ve got to do a better job of making the extra pass. I wish I could have a lot of those shots back. I felt great on a lot of them but that’s just how it is.”
KD and Russ combined to take 14 shots in the fourth quarter, everyone else on the roster combined for five, no one had any assists.
Did the Thunder revert to “Hero Ball?”
Well when you have two superstars are are among, as many people say, the top five basketball players in the world, then yeah you probably do. And you hope they make most of those shots.
“For the most part I thought we tried to make the right plays and make the right decisions, especially down the stretch,” Westbrook told reporters. “They just made more shots than we did.”
The Warriors afterall did the very same thing. Curry and Thompson combined for 14 shots, just like Durant and Westbrook but the Splash Brothers hit eight of those 14 and seven of the eight were 3-pointers.
Plain and simple “Hero Ball” looks great when the shots are “splashing” and it doesn’t look nearly as heroic when they’re not.
It’s on to Game 7 now where both teams will have a chance to move on to the NBA Finals.
“Win or go home,” Westbrook said when asked about Monday’s game. “Simple as that.”