OKLAHOMA CITY, Sporting Alert – The sun is already set in the East, as far as knowing which team has advanced to the NBA Finals, but things are still up for grab in the West.
Oklahoma City Thunder
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Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors will meet in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals on Saturday, and both teams are in need of a win for different reasons.
For the Warriors, who trail 3-2 in the seven-game series, a victory is a must if they are to extend their season and stay in the race to defend their NBA title, while the Thunder are only one win away from booking a date with LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Thursday, 2 June.
Oklahoma City, which won its previous two games in the series at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, can afford to lose on Saturday and stay alive, but Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook would rather get this thing wrap up at home, as they wouldn’t want to travel again to the Bay Area for a possible Game 7.
The All-Stars have been clicking in the playoffs so far and with the supporting cast – led by centers Steven Adams and forward Serge Ibaka – also on good form, ESPN’s BPI is giving the Thunder a 60-percent chance of finishing off the Warriors at home in Game 6.
Golden State managed to force a Game 6 with a 120-111 victory over the Thunder on Thursday night, but the performance wasn’t particularly impressive, and many pundits are predicting the home side to seal a win.
Stephen Curry was a major part in the Game 5 win for the Warriors, and two-time MVP will need to deliver again if the defending champions are to avoid an upset.
Curry believes this is the most important game of his life and he will be going out there playing for a win.
“You’ve got to play with confidence and expect to win, especially in this building,” he said. “You’ve got to expect to win and play like it.”
The travelers will also need positive support from the likes of Klay Thompson, Andrew Bogut and Draymond Green.