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NBA Western Conference finals preview: Golden State vs. Oklahoma City

NBA Western Conference finals preview: Golden State vs. Oklahoma City

Warriors pioint guard Stephen Curry (30) goes up between Thunder teammates Russell Westbrook, left, and Enes Kanter during the second half of a game on Feb. 6.

(George Nikitin / Associated Press)

NBA Western Conference finals

1. Golden State

First round defeated Houston, 4-1.

Second round defeated Portland, 4-1.

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3. Oklahoma City

First round defeated Dallas, 4-1

Second round defeated San Antonio, 4-2.

Season series: Warriors 3-0.

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Key stats: The Warriors are the highest-scoring team in the playoffs (114.3), guard Klay Thompson is third in scoring (27.2) and forward Draymond Green is fifth in assists (7.0) and fifth in blocked shots (2.30). Kevin Durant led all players in the playoffs in scoring (27.4), Russell Westbrook led in assists (10.8) and the Thunder were the fifth-highest in turnovers (13.9).

Outlook: Three of the NBA’s most dynamic and game-altering players will be on display in the Warriors-Thunder series. Stephen Curry, the league MVP and widely considered best shooter in the game’s history, can strike from anywhere on the court for Golden State. The polarizing and sheer force of play from Westbrook and the lethal offense of Durant can take down any opponent for Oklahoma City.

Of course there are other characters in this series — namely Golden State’s do-everything Green and the two-way play and sharpshooting of Thompson and Oklahoma City’s big center Steven Adams and key reserve Dion Waiters — who will play pivotal roles.

The Warriors were supposed to be here, their league-best 73-win season an indication of how dominant they were. The Thunder were not supposed to be here, but Oklahoma City outclassed and out-executed the 67-win San Antonio Spurs in the second round. So this has the makings of an exciting, entertaining and high-scoring series.

Prediction: The defending NBA champion Warriors in seven.


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