They did it. How did they do it? Steph Curry is how they did it, obviously. This cheeky tweet before the end of the match told you all you needed to know.
The Golden State Warriors have beaten the Oklahoma City Thunder 96-88 in Game Seven of the NBA Western Conference playoff series, thereby earning the right to defend their NBA crown. They now face LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers in the best-of-seven NBA Finals series for the second year in a row.
This did not look likely a week ago, when the Warriors trailed the Thunder 3-1 after four matches. At that point, the Warriors' season appeared to be slipping away.
In fact, just nine times previously had a team overcome a 3-1 regular season deficit to take a series 4-3. Now it's ten times.
Never in NBA history has a team performed better than the 73-9 regular season win/loss record of the Warriors. If you were the trophy engraving guy, you would have felt safe scratching their name on the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy and taking an early summer break.
But the Thunder had other ideas. A kick in the nuts here, some brilliant basketball there, and the Thunder stood on the verge of eliminating the un-eliminatable. They won games three and four by a combined 52-point margin. For Oklahoma fans, everything looked okey dokey.
But no. The Warriors won the fifth game at home, then stole the Thunder's thunder in Oklahoma City.
Game seven on the Warriors' home court in Oakland, California, was dominated by the Thunder early. Then right on the halftime buzzer, Steph Curry did this. Because he's Steph Curry, and that's the sort of thing Steph Curry does the way you and I spread Vegemite on toast.
Actually, Curry is better known for his three-pointers from impossible range. He set all kinds of crazy records from long distance this year and as we told you in March, was so reliable that teammates cheered his shots before they'd even hit the mark.
Should we ever have doubted his ability to lift his team over the line?
Credit to the Thunder. They took this loss well.
Fight to the finish but a tough loss.Thunder adds to its hard-earned WC legacy w/another epic showing. Proving its 1 of the best in sports.— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) 31 de maio de 2016
The seven match Finals series starts on June 2. It's a rematch of last year's series which the Warriors won 4-2. The Golden State Warriors will hold a 4-3 home court advantage and are clear favourites with the sports bookies to repeat the dose.
But the Cavs won't be easybeats. They weren't as impressive as the Warriors during the regular season, but to use an old sports cliché, they seem to be peaking at the right time. They've been to the finals three times now, but are yet to win.
Here's a highlights package of their Eastern Conference win to get you excited about their chances.Suggest a correction