Desperate Warriors beat Thunder to stay alive

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Stephen Curry No.30 of the Golden State Warriors reaches for a loose ball against Dion Waiters No.3, Steven Adams No.12 and Russell Westbrook No.0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the Western Conference finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on Friday in Oakland, California. AFP PHOTO

Stephen Curry No.30 of the Golden State Warriors reaches for a loose ball against Dion Waiters No.3, Steven Adams No.12 and Russell Westbrook No.0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the Western Conference finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on Friday in Oakland, California. AFP PHOTO

LOS ANGELES: Stephen Curry scored 31 points as the defending champion Golden State Warriors kept their record-setting season alive with a 120-111 win over Oklahoma City in Game 5  of their Western Conference playoff.

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Curry, who has been plagued by injuries throughout the postseason, saved his best game of the series for Thursday night (Friday in Manila) as he also had seven rebounds and six assists.

“We did what we are supposed to the do — win at home,” said Curry.

After a record-setting 73 regular season wins, desperation set in for Golden State on Thursday as they trimmed the Thunder’s lead to 3-2 in the series.

The Warriors have a daunting task ahead of them when the teams square off for game six Saturday in Oklahoma City as just nine NBA teams have rallied from being down 3-1 to win a playoff series.

Game seven, if necessary, would be Monday in Oakland.

“We know they are not going to quit. It is going to be the toughest game of our lives in game six. We got to be ready,” Curry said.

Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes drained three-pointers on consecutive possessions during an eight-point flurry that opened a 12-point lead early in the fourth quarter

Curry went 10-for-10 from the free-throw line, as the Warriors overcame a 40-point performance by Thunder star Kevin Durant to keep their hopes of a title repeat alive.

Prior to Thursday’s game, media reports listed Curry as being 70 percent healthy, saying his injuries were one of the main reasons the Warriors were on the brink of elimination.

’91 percent’
“I though he looked like 91 percent,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr joked after the game.

Klay Thompson supported Curry with 27 points for the Warriors, who are now 4-1 after losses in the playoffs.

“He came out and played a really good game. He is going to compete every night,” said Kerr of Curry.

The Warriors won despite making just nine of their 24 three-point attempts.

Andrew Bogut tallied 15 points and 14 rebounds, and Draymond Green had an 11-point, 13-rebound double-double performance for the Warriors.

The Warriors led just 81-77 before backup guard Shaun Livingston opened the fourth period with a short jump shot.

Iguodala and Barnes then nailed their three-pointers, opening an 89-77 advantage, Golden State’s largest lead of the game to that point.

Curry’s biggest basket of the night came with the Warriors holding a 103-98 lead with 4:34 to play. He made a driving left-handed floater while being fouled. He converted the three-point play, pushing the lead to eight.

The Golden State’s solid defense took over from there, holding the Thunder without a field goal until a Durant dunk with 56 seconds remaining.

Russell Westbrook finished with 31 points to go with seven rebounds and a team-high eight assists for the Thunder.

Serge Ibaka had 13 points and Steven Adams a team-high 10 rebounds for the Thunder, who were able to eliminated Dallas and San Antonio in earlier series.

AFP

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