Game 7 is nearly here. With a berth in the NBA finals up for grabs, Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder come to blows on Memorial Day Monday for the final time in a hard-fought series.
Warriors, the reigning champions, are 7 point favorites (-330 money line) favorites to close the deal at home and meet the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of last year’s finals. Prior to Game 6, Golden State were +250 underdogs to prevail. However, Klay Thompson’s historic performance Saturday has flipped the script.
During Game 6, the Thunder blew a 7-point lead with five minutes left in the game. They were desperately close to finishing Golden State until Thompson and some feisty defense from Andre Igduala meant the Warriors outscored Thunder 19-5 to force a series-deciding Game 7.
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Tipoff: 6 p.m. PT/ 9 p.m. ET
Odds Line: Warriors -7 (Spread) Warriors -330 (Money Line)
Kevin Durant & Co. are hoping to take only positives into Monday night’s blockbuster game. “If we walk in here (to Oracle Arena) like it’s a funeral, we’ve already lost,” the former league MVP told reporters on the eve of the series finale.
Game 7: Kevin Durant remains positive
Durant said his team had to remain upbeat. “Nobody walked in like that. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. They aren’t going to feel sorry for us, and whoever’s covering the game, fans, nobody’s feeling sorry for us. It’s just a part of basketball. Guys walked in here are really confident. We’re upset we lost, but we let that go and we’ve got to get ready for Game 7.”
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History is definitely against Thunder. Of 124 previous Game 7’s, only 24 have been won by the away team. OKC coach Billy Donovan wants his team to approach the game without any fear. “We lost Game 6, and it was a tough, hard-fought game. We’re disappointed about not having a different outcome. But we haven’t lost the series, and we have an opportunity again. I think just being around these guys, they’re a resilient group. I think they’re looking forward to getting prepared today and shootaround tomorrow and getting ready to play.”
Since it’s a memorial day holiday, Game 7 is expected to shatter some TV ratings records. According to Hollywood Reporter, Sunday’s Game 6 was TNT’s most-viewed and highest-rated NBA Conference Finals Game 6 of all time. “The telecast averaged 10.8 million total viewers and a 6.2 U.S. HH rating, based on Nielsen Fast Nationals. It peaked at 14.6 million viewers between 11:30 and 11:45 p.m. ET.”
Who wants it more? Thunder or Warriors?
Two courtside seats for Game 7 in Golden State went for $29K — each.
— ESPN (@espn) May 30, 2016
Game 7 on #WarriorsGround ?
— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) May 29, 2016
Report from Sunday practice. Game 7: Opportunity of a lifetime. https://t.co/6Q3OuzA9mC
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) May 29, 2016