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Adams battered in Thunder win

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/05/2016

Battered, bruised but unbowed New Zealand centre Steven Adams survived a mid-match mauling to help Oklahoma City Thunder to a 133-105 win over Golden State Warriors in the NBA's Western Conference finals series.

Thumped 118-91 in game two four days ago, the Thunder stormed back to take a 2-1 lead into game four on the back of spectacular twin efforts from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

Durant led the way with a game-high 33, shooting 10 from 15 from the floor and 12 from 12 from the free-throw line, adding eight rebounds and two assists for good measure.

Westbrook wasn't too far behind, amassing 30 points to go with eight rebounds and 12 assists.

Adams bore the brunt of some rugged defence, forced from the court briefly midway through the second quarter after Draymond Green floored him with a kick to the groin.

The Warriors forward was issued with a flagrant foul, his second of the series to date, and Adams showed impressive sang froid to return and nail both free throws.

From then on, the Thunder proved unstoppable. A 34-28 lead at the first quarter transformed into a 72-47 halftime lead as the Thunder shot 23 from 25 at the free-throw line while Golden State managed three from four.

The carnage continued in the third quarter, Oklahoma City opening out to a 117-80 lead after piling on 45 points for the spell.

Adams's game ended early in the quarter after he racked up his fourth foul, and he sat out the remainder of the game in relative comfort on the bench.

After picking up double-doubles in the first two matches of the series, Adams ended game three with eight points and five rebounds in just over 17min 30sec of court time.

Game four of the best-of-seven series is at Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Energy Arena home court on Tuesday (NZT).

The Western Conference series winners play either the Toronto Raptors or the Cleveland Cavaliers, with the Cavaliers currently leading the Eastern Conference series 2-1.

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